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Why a New UN Fund for Road Safety?

Every year, an estimated 1.3 million people are killed and up to 50 million injured in road crashes. Road safety is one of the most pressing social and economic issues of our time. Beyond human suffering, it is estimated that road traffic deaths and injuries create a $1.85 trillion burden on the global economy each year. United Nations Member States acknowledged the importance of improving road safety by declaring the Decade of Action (2011-2020) for Road Safety. Furthermore, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development include two road safety targets (3.6 and 11.2) in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, road safety has not been adequately funded at the national, regional or global levels and real changes in the number of road crash fatalities and injuries are yet to occur.

In recognition of these challenges, the UN General Assembly in April 2016 adopted resolution 70/260, requesting the Secretary-General “to consider the possibility of establishing, from voluntary contributions, a Road Safety Trust Fund, to support the implementation of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action and the road safety-related Sustainable Development Goals”.

Pursuant to this resolution, with the support of the Secretary-General, the United Nations Road Safety Fund (UNRSF) was established in 2018 as a UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund. The Fund was officially launched in UNHQ New York on 12 April 2018, in the presence of the UN Deputy Secretary-General, the Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Road Safety and representatives from UN agencies, Member States, private sector as well as other road safety stakeholders. 

>> Video: Save Lives with the UN Road Safety Fund


Programme and Scope of the UNRSF

Activities supported by the Fund should contribute to two major outcomes, assisting UN Member States to (a) substantially curb the number of fatalities and injuries from road traffic crashes, as well as (b) reduce economic losses resulting from these crashes. Building on the best practices and expertise developed through the Decade of Action for Road Safety, the Fund will focus on supporting concrete institutional actions geared to achieving the road safety-related SDG targets and aligned with the five “pillars” of the Decade’s Global Plan:

  • Strengthened road safety management capacities
  • Improved safety of road infrastructure and broader transport networks
  • Enhanced safety of vehicles
  • Improved behaviour of road users
  • Improved post-crash care


Added Value of the UNRSF

The partners opted for establishing the Fund in order to:

  • Leverage the wide reach and expertise of the United Nations (combining national, regional and international experience);
  • Enhance coordination and coherence of global efforts, reduce the fragmentation of assistance, and provide a platform for a wide partnership of actors (UN and non-UN) where strategic priorities can be identified and agreed jointly;
  • Drive transformative change to tackle key implementation challenges (addressing critical institutional gaps, ensuring efficiency through results-based management);
  • Ensure the highest degree of transparency and good governance.