Today, in a virtual meeting, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and nine other multilateral development banks (MDBs) signed a high-level joint statement on road safety, under the auspices of the World Health Organization and the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration.
In the statement, the MDBs welcome the global call for increased road safety action, ambition, international cooperation and multilateralism in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals for road safety. The statement highlights the MDBs’ aim to provide further access to safe, affordable and sustainable transport systems for all and to improve road safety, with special attention to the needs of vulnerable road users. The signatory MDBs also aim to seek synergies with other priorities, such as climate action and resilience, by expanding support for public transport. The banks will therefore appoint high-level Road Safety Champions in each institution to promote road safety.
The joint statement has been signed by the following MDBs:
- Andean Development Corporation
- African Development Bank
- Asian Development Bank
- Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
- European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
- World Bank
- Inter-American Development Bank
- Islamic Development Bank
- New Development Bank
- European Investment Bank
EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova, responsible for the Bank’s transport operations and current chair of the Multilateral Development Banks’ Road Safety Working Group, said: “Millions suffer and succumb to road injuries and deaths every year. This needs to change. I am convinced that bringing together the reach and impact of the world’s leading development banks and our continued joint commitment to safer roads can make a big difference – and help to save lives.”
The Multilateral Development Banks’ Road Safety Working Group, chaired by the EIB, will continue to develop a common approach to road safety issues in support of the Stockholm Declaration and a new Decade of Action and the UN Sustainable Development Goals for Road Safety.
In February 2021, the working group will meet to outline the deliverables following today’s statement.
Road accidents kill 1.35 million people worldwide every year. It is the leading cause of death among children and young people between the ages of five and 29. Worldwide, more people die because of road traffic injuries than from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis or diarrhoeal diseases. The UN World Health Organization considers road deaths and injuries as an acute epidemic. Apart from the loss of life and immeasurable emotional trauma and social impacts, the economic losses due to road accidents represent around 3% of GDP.
To address the issue, a Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety was held in Stockholm in February 2020. It culminated in the Stockholm Declaration, which calls for a new target to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries by 50% from 2020 to 2030. It invites strengthened efforts on road safety management, safer roads, vehicles and people, and enhanced post-crash care. The Declaration was endorsed by a UN General Assembly Resolution on 31 August 2020.