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4 Oct 2017

Abertis and UNICEF announce long-term partnership to tackle child road traffic injury

Abertis and UNICEF announce long-term partnership to tackle child road traffic injury

  • The child road traffic injury prevention partnership by UNICEF and Abertis, is a ground-breaking new $3 million collaboration, to combat child fatalities on the road.
  • The partnership, announced today, will strengthen and scale-up UNICEF’s child road traffic injury prevention work. UNICEF considers Abertis a valuable partner particularly given its commitment to road safety and its own campaigning tailored to the needs of vulnerable road users.

UNICEF and Abertis, the world’s leading toll road management company, are launching a ground-breaking new $3 million partnership to combat the number one global killer of school-age children: road traffic crashes.

The child road traffic injury prevention partnership will strengthen and scale-up UNICEF’s existing work to protect children on the world’s roads and provide a safe journey to school.  UNICEF considers Abertis’ to be a valuable partner given its commitment to road safety and its own campaigning tailored to the needs of vulnerable road users.

Aiming to help develop national responses to this global challenge, the programme will first benefit the Philippines and Jamaica, which like many low- and middle-income countries, experience a severe health burden from child road traffic injury. Abertis has previously demonstrated its commitment to road safety with initiatives such as the “You have one life left” programme, that promotes awareness of responsible driving among young people.

The largest partnership focused on national road safety for children

The partnership represents the first global corporate contribution for UNICEF’s child road traffic injury prevention work. The commitment comprises $1 million per year over three years, and is the largest of its kind focused on national road safety programmes for children.

It is aimed towards ensuring a safe journey to school for every child and builds on initial work undertaken by UNICEF to protect children on the world’s roads. Road traffic injury is the leading killer of children and adolescents aged 10 years and over worldwide. More than 3000 children are killed and injured on the world’s roads every single day, according to the Child Health Initiative.

Jorge Olague, UNICEF’s Private Fundraising and Partnerships Deputy Director said: “Globally, road traffic injury is a major burden that particularly inflicts older children, and is an urgent priority for action. With the vast majority of injuries and fatalities in low- and middle-income countries, this is an important sustainable development concern. Abertis is leading the way in helping UNICEF respond and we hope others can follow. Every life is precious and the lives of millions of children depend on this vital work.”

Francisco Reynés, Abertis CEO & Vice Chairman said: “As the world leader in toll road management, Road Safety is a high priority for us. Through our Abertis Road Safety programme we’re using our expertise both in road safety technology and engineering, and in road safety education and awareness campaigns. But because we’re committed to this agenda around the world we want to collaborate with organisations that can take this fight beyond our operational footprint. That’s why we are delighted to enter this partnership with UNICEF. We share their mission of providing every child with a safe journey to school, and their commitment to investing in future generations.”

The partnership is being launched at the ‘Every Journey Every Child’ International Conference in London on 4 October 2017. In addition to representatives of UNICEF and Abertis, also present at the launch and representing the Spanish Government is Fernando García Casas, Secretario de Estado de Cooperación Internacional y para Iberoamérica.

The conference is hosted by the Child Health Initiative, a global partnership which includes UNICEF as a principal member and focuses on achieving the objective of a safe journey to school for every child in the Sustainable Development Goals. The UNICEF-Abertis partnership is being launched to contribute to the Child Health Initiative’s agenda. It will draw upon UNICEF’s global programming and advocacy expertise and will also be supported by the UNICEF Spanish National Committee.

The partnership builds on UNICEF’s initial work on child road traffic injury prevention which has been supported by the FIA Foundation, an independent philanthropy focused on promoting global road safety and sustainable mobility. Along with Jamaica and Philippines, seven other countries have begun work with their government counterparts on child road safety programmes. With partners in the Child Health Initiative, UNICEF has also contributed to global advocacy campaigns calling for a safe journey to school for every child.

Abertis Road Safety Programme

The Abertis Road Safety Programme draws on more than 50 years of know-how and experience in this field. With a mission to provide 100% safe roads, Abertis strives to ensure that drivers enjoy a comfortable and safe journey.

In addition, the Abertis Group works with many public and private institutions to design, develop and finance road safety education and awareness programs, which focus on the most vulnerable road users (children, young people, senior citizens and disabled people). Through its network of academic chairs, Abertis funds road safety research in six leading universities around the world and stages the Abertis Chairs Awards since 2003.

In 2017 Abertis became the first company to join the Waze “Connected Citizens Program” that spans in 7 countries. This two-way data share partnership will allow complementing real time traffic information that drivers update in the Waze app, with the data collected at the Abertis' operations centres in 7 countries. It provides a new channel to deliver up-to-date information to customers on the Abertis Group's toll roads, enabling them to drive more safely and efficiently – reducing accidents and emissions.

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

The partnership is being launched at the ‘Every Journey, Every Child’ International Conference hosted by the Child Health Initiative at London City Hall on 4 October 2017. UNICEF is a core member of the Child Health Initiative and is seeking to help implement its agenda of a safe and healthy journey to school for every child in the Sustainable Development Goals. In addition to Jamaica and Philippines supported by FIA Foundation, UNICEF has begun programming on child road traffic injury in China, Cuba, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, South Africa and Vietnam.

Road safety features in two Sustainable Development Goal targets (3.6 & 11.2) and a priority of a ‘safe journey to school for every child’ is a commitment in the UN’s Habitat III New Urban Agenda.

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