CAREC countries advance regional road safety strategy for Central Asia


DUSHANBE (TCA) — Lead engineers and senior transport officials from member countries of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program committed to accelerate the implementation of road safety initiatives at a meeting in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on 30-31 August, ADB’s country office in Dushanbe said.

Participants at the workshop, chaired by Tajikistan and organized by the CAREC Institute and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), identified and prioritized actions to improve road safety engineering principles and practices, as well as opportunities for regional collaboration in designing safer roads. Representatives from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Health Organization, and the Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport joined the workshop.

Road accidents are the sixth leading cause of death in Central Asia, with a road traffic death rate of 10 to 25 per 100,000 people. Road insecurity also affects the economy, reducing gross domestic product by up to 3% in CAREC countries.

CAREC member countries made a commitment to prioritize road safety through their support for the CAREC Road Safety Strategy 2017-2030, endorsed by the 15th CAREC Ministerial Conference in October 2016. The strategy aims to halve the number of road crash fatalities on the CAREC road corridors by 2030, compared to 2010, saving 23,000 lives and preventing 250,000 serious injuries annually.

Tajikistan, the current CAREC chair, will host the 16th CAREC Ministerial Conference in Dushanbe on 27 October 2017. CAREC — comprised of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, the People’s Republic of China, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and six multilateral institutions — promotes and facilitates regional cooperation to accelerate economic growth and poverty reduction. ADB serves as the CAREC Secretariat.

The CAREC Institute, based in Urumqi, provides knowledge and relevant training to all CAREC partners in support of effective regional cooperation and coordination, and promotes access to and application of international best practices in all CAREC initiatives.

Sergey Kwan