Multilateral development banks commit $3.6 billion for road safety in developing countries in 2018-2022

LEIPZIG, Germany,25th May, 2023 (WAM) – The Multilateral Development Banks Road Safety Working Group announced today, at a meeting in Leipzig, Germany, that seven of its members had committed US$3.6 billion to road safety initiatives in developing countries between 2018 and 2022.

Three standalone road safety projects in Bangladesh (World Bank), India (Asian Development Bank and World Bank) and Romania (European Investment Bank) totalled US$912 million in financing, which is more than one-quarter of the amount approved by seven of the working group members during this timeframe.

These commitments come in response to a global health crisis that kills 1.35 million people on the world’s roads every year. 93 percent of these fatalities occur in developing countries.

Despite these sizeable contributions, more is needed to achieve the United Nations’ goal of halving road fatalities in low- and middle-income countries by 2030. As motorisation rates increase across the developing world, already-high fatality rates are likely to escalate. A minimum of US$200 billion in additional financing is needed to improve road safety measures and meet the UN goal. Closing the financing gap will be challenging and scaling up the contributions by governments and multilateral development banks will require a commensurate increase in grant funding to support their country engagement process and catalyse action.

Established in 2009, the Multilateral Development Banks Road Safety Working Group is made up of ten member institutions[2] that are uniquely positioned to support low- and middle-income countries in reaching their considerable and challenging road safety financing needs. Multilateral development banks are already major financiers of transport projects in these countries and approved a total of US$50 billion in road and urban mobility financing between 2018 and 2022, averaging around US$10 billion per year.