The United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund, launched on 12 April in New York, has the potential to mobilise and unlock vitally needed financial and technical resources to make global roads safer.
Officially launched by UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and UN Special Envoy for Road Safety, Jean Todt, at the United Nations Headquarters with a US$10 million seed funding grant from our major donor The FIA Foundation and contributions from 3M and Total, iRAP welcomes the Fund’s establishment which will help increase political support and funding for road safety world-wide.
Speaking from New York, iRAP CEO Rob McInerney said we know how to make roads safer and the high return on investment that is possible. Governments around the world are embracing the star rating standard as part of their own Road Assessment Programmes. The UN targets to ensure new roads are 3-star or better and to improve the percentage of travel on existing roads that are safe for all road users provides the framework for scale. The evidence-based star rating model and the link between star rating improvement and crash and fatality reductions provides confidence in investment. With the UN Fund now in place we can make sure all countries can scale up their work on creating safer roads for all.
The UN Economic Commission for Europe estimates that for every $100 million raised and deployed by the fund, a further $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, it is estimated that at least $770 million per year in catalytic financing will be required.
“The establishment of this fund is a potential game-changer for road safety advancements at the scale needed for global impact,” Mr McInerney said.
iRAP has been an advocate for the establishment of a global road safety fund housed within the United Nations, particularly through the activities of the UN Road Safety Collaboration and FIA High Level Panel for Road Safety (HLP). The HLP gathers senior decision-makers from the global business community, international institutions and non-governmental organisations with the goal of engaging both the public and private sectors to build much-needed global momentum for road safety activities and funding.
Aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, the Fund will help mobilise and unlock financial and technical resources in order to strengthen the capacity of government agencies, local governments and city authorities to develop and implement road safety programmes, especially in low and middle-income countries.
United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety Jean Todt said, “Millions of lives are at stake: the launch of the United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund is a major step forward. There is now an urgency to mobilise financial resources. I call on all stakeholders, United Nations Member States, and partners to contribute to this Fund.”
“I congratulate Jean Todt and the FIA Foundation on their leadership, and applaud the Foundation for its investment to kick-start the Fund, along with 3M and Total. I urge all road safety stakeholders to use this great leadership of the UN to step up their efforts to achieve the global road safety targets,” Mr McInerney said.
Click here to read the Official UNECE Press Release about the establishment of the Fund.
Find the UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s speech at the UN here.
Find the video of the press conference in New York for the launch of the United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund here.