New UN Global Road Safety Trust Fund boosted by FIA Foundation donation
Grant-making charity supporting road safety programmes organisation, the FIA Foundation this week pledged a donation of USD$10 million to kick start a new United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund, launched this week by Deputy Secretary-General, Amina J.Mohammed.
The new UN Fund is intended to catalyse road safety action across the globe, using donations to help unlock new government and municipal funding and re-focus national road safety budgets towards proven ‘Safe System’ interventions.
According to a media statement from the FIA Foundation, the pledge will help to leverage additional support for the Fund from governments, other philanthropies and the private sector to work towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of a 50% global reduction in road fatalities and injuries.
According to the World Bank Africa has the highest road death in the world, and fatalities in sub-Saharan Africa are forecasted to double from the 243,000 deaths in 2015 to 514,000 by 2030 id action is not taken.
There is a strong economic case for investment: road traffic injuries cost countries between 3-5% of GDP, and a recent World Bank report identified that countries not investing in road safety could miss out on up to 22% in potential per capita GDP growth over a 24-year period.
The UN Economic Commission for Europe estimates that for every US$100 million raised and deployed by the fund, a further US$3.4 billion of country and city investment can be unlocked for infrastructure and road safety programmes, saving 64,000 lives and preventing 640,000 serious injuries.
To meet the road safety sustainable development goal targets for road safety by 2030 will require at least US$770 million per year in catalytic financing, so the stakes are high and the challenge great, the FIA added.
Speaking at the launch of the UN Road Safety Trust Fund at UN headquarters in New York City, FIA Foundation Executive Director Saul Billingsley said: “The launch of this first ever UN Fund for global road safety is an important recognition that our collective efforts to tackle road safety must be scaled up. Governments have provided the mandate for action, but not yet the resources to deliver it. We urgently need a massive increase in funding, commensurate to the scale of the problem. With this $10 million pledge, the FIA Foundation is stepping up. Now we call on others to do the same.”
Jean Todt, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, said “I strongly welcome the establishment of the United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund, which has the potential to galvanize our global efforts to address the road safety situation, building on the progress made and experience gained over the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. I call on the support of all partners in mobilizing the resources necessary to reduce the number of fatalities on the world’s roads”.
In April 2016, the General Assembly adopted resolution 70/260, which requested the Secretary-General “to consider the possibility of establishing, from voluntary contributions, a Road Safety Trust Fund, to support the implementation of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action and the road safety-related Sustainable Development Goals, as appropriate, and to report thereon to Member States.” Pursuant to this resolution, UNECE was tasked by the Secretary-General to be the lead entity in developing a proposal for establishing such a fund in collaboration with key stakeholders.