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With some 1.3 million drivers, passengers and pedestrians dying each year on the world’s roads, the United Nations took a major step to address this tragedy by launching on Thursday a trust fund to spur action that could save lives and prevent the loss of opportunity associated with road accidents.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly where the launch was announced, Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed highlighted the opportunities offered by the UN Road Safety Trust Fund. “We have a chance to save the lives of millions of people around the world, and to prevent injuries, suffering and the loss of opportunity associated with road accidents,” she said, urging all stakeholders to contribute to the Trust Fund and to step up their efforts to achieve global road safety targets.

According to the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the Organization’s development arm in the continent, which is also the secretariat for the Trust Fund, every $1,500 contributed to the Fund could save one life; prevent 10 serious injuries; and leverage $51,000 towards investments in road safety. “The Road Safety Trust Fund will serve as a catalyst for much-needed progress towards the road safety targets of the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Olga Algayerova, the head of UNECE.

Dealing specifically with road safety, SDG targets 3.6 and 11.2 aim to halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents; and to provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems as well as improve road safety for all, respectively. “[We] are committed to working with all stakeholders to multiply the impact of global action to improve road safety,” added Ms. Algayerova.

Echoing these words, Jean Todt, the President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile and the UN Special Envoy for Road Safety, also underlined the importance scaling up of resources to achieve global road safety targets.

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