Bloomberg Philanthropies announces new US$240m support for Road Safety

21Feb 2020
Crispin Gerald
The Guardian
Bloomberg Philanthropies announces new US$240m support for Road Safety

THE Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced an additional support of US$240 million under global road safety initiatives seeking to prevent accidents to more than 600,000 people and 22 million injuries.

The support will save lives and prevent injuries in both low and middle income countries around the world.

Bloomberg Philanthropies is a Global Initiative that works with the world’s leading road safety organizations to implement road safety activities and coordinate with in country governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Kelly Henning, Director of Public Health at Bloomberg Philanthropies made the announcement on Tuesday in Stockholm Sweden where the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety is taking place.

Themed “Achieving Global Goals 2030” the conference brought on board 1,700 delegates from more than 140 countries including ministers, senior officials from United Nations agencies and representatives from civil society, academia and the private sector.

The investment also includes a new awards competition to shine a light on low-and middle income countries that have made exemplary progress in road safety.

Since 2007, the initiative has saved an estimated 312,000 lives and prevented up to 11.5 million injuries.

 “As we gather for the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, we should keep in mind that these deaths and injuries are completely preventable,” he said noting after more than a decade of working with international and in-country partners, the organization is now aware of the policies and interventions that save lives,” Henning added.

She added: “By increasing our commitment, we can double our impact by leveraging the many lessons we have learned and adopting new approaches that we believe will accelerate progress”.

Tanzania has been among beneficiaries of the Bloomberg support since 2015 with focus on tackling challenges that contribute to increased fatalities, including speeding, drink and drive, use of helmet, use of child restraints and wearing of seat belts.

In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies launched phase two of the Initiative for Global Road Safety which will address road traffic safety in ten cities (Accra, Addis Ababa, Bandung, Bangkok, Bogota, Fortaleza, Ho Chi Minh City, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, and Shanghai), five countries (China, India, Philippines, Tanzania, and Thailand), and four vehicle market regions (Africa, Latin America, India, and Southeast Asia) with the primary goal of reducing road traffic fatalities and injuries. 

Road traffic injuries are the 8th leading cause of death globally and the number one killer of people ages 5-29. More than 1.35 million people die and up to 50 million are seriously injured in road traffic crashes each year.

Additionally, the economic losses are staggering, a recent report released by the World Bank found that reducing road traffic deaths and injuries by half could add 7-22 percent to GDP per capital in 5 selected low and middle income countries over the next 24 years.

Nearly 85 percent of all countries in the world lack adequate laws to counter the growing rates of traffic deaths and injuries. As a result, over 1.35 million deaths and up to 50 million injuries occur every year, with 90 percent of these fatalities occurring in low- and middle-income countries.