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ROAD SAFETY AND POVERTY DYNAMICS IN BANGLADESH Mohiuzzaman Quazi Senior Transport Engineer World Bank, Dhaka The Problem Worldwide: Road crashes will move up to third place in the world league table for death and disability by the year 2020, just behind clinical depression and heart disease but ahead of HIV. Nearly one million persons are injured globally in road accidents each year. Over 75 percent of these casualties occur in the developing countries, though they account for only 32 percent of motor vehicles. The global economic impact for accident is huge; economic losses caused by road accident amount to US$ 500 billion; for the developing countries the economic loss is about US$ 100 billion (2 percent of GDP, nearly equivalent to double of all overseas development assistance). The road fatalities gap between poor and rich countries is widening, and this trend will continue unless new global, regional, and country initiatives are taken to reduce the gap. Any reduction of the economic loss caused by road accidents can be effectively used for the socio-economic development of the developing country thereby helping the poor. World Bank Objective: In the context of the World Bank’s objective to reduce poverty through sustainable economic development, the most important question that needs to be addressed is : how can transport operations be designed to ensure that they contribute effectively to poverty reduction. Poverty reduction being a key indicator of Millennium Development Goal (MDG), incorporation of social development and participatory process has become key features in transport projects financed by the World Bank. Global Initiative: The World Bank’s Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF) was launched in November 2005, and it commenced operations in April 2006.
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