An iRAP Inter-American Development Bank webinar delivered today has built the capacity of 50 IDB staff to support regional countries to eliminate high risk roads, unlock the economic benefits of 3-star or better roads through results-based financing and meet global SDG and UN Target obligations.

The initiative supports IDB’s development of national road safety plans and is an early step in the iRAP and IDB partnership to improve the safety of roads in Latin America and the Caribbean, formalised by signed agreement on 19 February in Stockholm.

iRAP CEO Rob McInerney presented on iRAP’s vision, the relevant global SDG (3.6, 9.1 and 11.2) and UN Targets for infrastructure safety, as well as available resources to help countries understand their road safety situation. These include the 2018 WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety, iRAP’s Vaccines for Roads and Big Data Tool showing the global and national injury impact of road crashes and Business Case for Safer Roads, and the 10 Step Plan to help countries build institutional capacity to save lives on safer roads.

Regional Director – The Americas Julio Urzua presented on the current situation for road infrastructure safety and iRAP’s activities in Latin America, as well as how staff can connect with RAP programme leads in countries.

Senior Road Safety Engineer Morgan Fletcher presented on iRAP’s methodology and the free tools available to support countries to achieve 3-star or better safer road infrastructure. Case studies of success were showcased.

Over 110,000 people were killed and more than 1 million were seriously injured in road crashes in Latin America in 2016, at a cost of USD$224 billion or 4.4 per cent of GDP (WHO, 2018).

The iRAP/IDB partnership will focus on delivering a measurable reduction in road trauma in Latin America and the Caribbean and contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Global Road Safety Performance Targets, particularly the 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”.It will pave the way to implement Road Assessment Programmes (RAPs), following the iRAP methodology in Latin America and the Caribbean to reduce the number of casualties and serious injuries caused by road crashes in the region.

Achieving greater than 75 percent of travel in Latin America and the Caribbean on 3-star or better roads by 2030 stands to save 400,000 fatalities and serious injuries with a benefit of $10 for every $1 spent, according to iRAP’s Business Case for Safer Roads.