ADB and iRAP sign new partnership to save lives in the Asia Pacific

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) are proud to announce the signing of a 5-year agreement to promote programmes and projects for safe and sustainable transport in Asia and the Pacific.

ADB and iRAP have been working in partnership since 2010 to eliminate high-risk roads in the region. The new collaboration will continue to promote projects, Road Assessment Programmes and investment strategies that offer strong social and economic returns across ADB’s developing member countries.

According to iRAP’s Vaccines for Roads Big Data Tool, nearly 2,000 people are killed and 54,000 injured every day due to road crashes in the Asia Pacific region at a cost of USD$2,4 billion. It is likely that more than 550 people suffer spinal injuries including paralysis, 3,800 incur brain injuries and 110 lose limbs.

The partnership will focus on delivering a measurable reduction in road trauma in ADB member countries aligned to the Second Decade of Action for Road Safety goal to halve road deaths by 2030 and UN Global Road Safety Performance Targets, particularly Target 3: “By 2030, all new roads achieve technical standards for all road users that take into account road safety, or meet a three star rating or better”; and Target 4: “By 2030, more than 75% of travel on existing roads is on roads that meet technical standards for all road users that take into account road safety”.

The work of iRAP and the ADB will also focus on building capacity with specialised staffing, accredited suppliers, training, assessments and resources that connect RAPs with Bank operations and investments. The initiative will make use of innovations such Star Ratings for Designs (SR4D), Star Ratings for Schools (SR4S), CycleRAP and AIRAP to accelerate safety impact, and priority corridors will be identified for investment informed by iRAP assessments and supported by safe road design and upgrade demonstration projects.

The methods utilized in evaluating previous investments in road safety infrastructure will be reviewed and guidance and recommendations for future investments provided, to inform policy, initiatives and projects that improve safety for all road users including vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.

Both institutions will develop communications plans and outreach materials to raise public awareness and training to build capacity compliant with the 3 star or better road safety standard. There will also be emphasis on collaboration with road safety partners in the region, including through the Asia Pacific Road Safety Observatory (APRSO), to harness the enormous potential of a multi-sector approach to improving safety.

According to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), 60 per cent of the world’s road crash fatalities occur in the ESCAP region which equates to one person killed every 38 seconds and an economic cost estimated to be as high as 6 per cent of GDP.

iRAP Global Programme Director Greg Smith said, “Eliminating high-risk roads in Asia and the Pacific is critical to saving lives, particularly of vulnerable road users, and reducing the vast economic and social burden on families impacted by road crashes.

“iRAP has been proud to partner with the ADB eliminating high-risk roads in the Asia Pacific for more than a decade and looks forward new horizons. Our partnership has seen the delivery of 9 projects in recent years including the ADB Scaling Up Project for Innovative Road Safety Operations in 7 countries, 1,050 people trained including in the Bank’s Road Safety Management and Leadership Course and the ADB’s important contribution on iRAP’s Global Policy Advisory Committee helping to guide the strategic policy direction of the charity,” Mr Smith said.

ADB Chief of Transport Sector Group Jamie Leather said, “This agreement is key to achieving our vision for a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia Pacific region. It will pave the way to activities that support ADB’s implementation of the Multilateral Development Bank high-level statement for an ambitious and integrated approach to road safety.”

Achieving greater than 75 per cent of travel on 3-star or better roads in Asia and the Pacific by 2030, stands to save over 15.7 million fatalities and serious injuries with a benefit of $7 for every $1 spent, according to iRAP’s Business Case for Safer Roads.

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Asian Development Bank - Transport

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