Michael R. Bloomberg joined World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick in Washington, DC April 19th 2011 for the launch of the Multilateral Development Banks’ Road Safety Initiative. As part of the Initiative, the seven development banks (African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, World Bank) will leverage their investments to ensure safe transport and better health outcomes; outline a structure for client countries to seek support and guidance on best practices in road safety; develop a grant-making fund to build road safety management capacity in low- and middle-income countries; and call on public and private stakeholders to contribute resources to the goals of the United Nations Decade of Action on Road Safety.
The World Bank is one of six partners for Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Program. The five-year, $125 million program focuses on ten low-and middle-income countries that have a high burden of road traffic injuries and fatalities, representing almost half of traffic deaths globally. The program improves infrastructure projects through road safety assessments; monitors and evaluates traffic related deaths, injuries, and policy effectiveness; strengthens road safety legislation and enforcement of helmet use, seat-belts, drinking and driving and speed controls, improves sustainable urban transport, such as bus rapid transit, and supports civil society advocacy efforts. Key successes since the launch of Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety program in November 2009 include the development of the “Global Status Report on Road Safety,” which provides a first-ever baseline against which future progress can be measured; a new drunk driving law in Guadalajara; and the implementation of critical safety improvements along the bus rapid transit route in Rio de Janeiro.
“The new Multilateral Development Bank Road Safety Initiative is another important sign that momentum is building in the global effort to reduce traffic fatalities,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “We look forward to continued collaboration with the development banks in our collective efforts to save millions more lives.”