The United Nations Road Safety Fund – For a world where roads are safe, for every road user, everywhere.

Author(s): Henry

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Against a backdrop of compounding climatic, health and geopolitical crises, we have a real chance to make important progress towards achieving an important piece of the 2030 Global Development Agenda – safe and sustainable mobility. It’s a chance we cannot afford to ignore: safe roads are such a critical enabler to healthy lives and equitable access to educational and economic opportunities; meanwhile green mobility directly affects our well-being and quality of life. Mobility challenges faced by low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) include worsening congestion, air pollution and fatal or serious traffic crashes. An increasing global vehicle fleet and rapid urbanization in low-income contexts are among the most rapidly growing sources of pollution and present a major public health risk particularly in LMICs where growing motorization, through used car imports, is not coupled with effective vehicle emission regulations. There is a strong correlation between the high age of used vehicles, lower fuel efficiency, higher emissions and road crashes. Over and above the impace on climate change and air quality, mobility challenges in LMICs are the leading cause of death for children and young people 5-29 years old - tearing apart the fabric of families and communities. Coupled with an estimated 1.3 million deaths and over 50 million injuries, there is also a crippling effect on national productivity ad economic gains.


By working on improving vehicle safety standards; road user behaviour; emergency post-crash response; safe road design; and better national road safety coordination, the UN Road Safety Fund (UNRSF), through public and private sector partners, is supporting global efforts to halve road fatalities and injuries by 2030 (SDG 3.6) while promoting sustainable transportation for all (SDG 11.2). Because of the UNRSF’s reliance on the UN system expertise, UNRSF projects ensures that knowledge transfer and institutional building on road safety also incorporate other considerations such as environmentally sustainable and inclusive transportation.

Target Group:

The UN Road Safety Fund channels assistance in low- and middle-income countries across the globe is already going to better urban planning for school zones, low emission non-motorized transport, speed management and cleaner safer used vehicle standards.


After 4 years of operations, the UN Road Safety Fund has mapped road crash hotspots & road safety infrastructure needs in Zambia; advanced safe and green street design in Ethiopia; improved data collection in Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal; strengthened legal frameworks in Arab countries; supported Azerbaijan with legislation to help reduce the time interval between crash and provision of first professional emergency care; and built capacity for improved urban planning and sustainable transportation to keep children safer in Paraguay, the Philippines and South Africa. We are also supporting Lao PDR with driver testing and licensing reform and have helped increased enforcement of speed limits, use of safety devices and other road traffic rules in Brazil, Jordan, Tunisia and the Philippines.


Now supporting 30 of the world’s 125 developing countries from Afghanistan to Zambia, beneficiaries have reported reduced traffic deaths and increased access and use of safer low carbon transportation. For example, in Brazil, the road traffic rule enforcement system has been strengthened, resulting in a decrease in the rate of traffic deaths per 100,000 habitants from 17.03 in 2019 to 15.64 in 2020. In Ethiopia, the government adopted and has begun implementing a national plan to construct 3000 km of walking and cycling lanes, safely separated from vehicular traffic. These lasting changes in the countries’ road infrastructure and road safety culture is a legacy that will substantially improve road safety for millions of citizens and tourists.