Safe journeys to school $3m commitment launched at London conference
At the Every Journey, Every Child International Conference in London on 4 October UNICEF announced that it is to step up efforts to combat the global number one killer of school-age children in a ground-breaking new $3 million partnership.
The partnership with the Abertis Foundation represents a first major corporate commitment to the Child Health Initiative’s (CHI) Declaration of Every Child’s Right to Safe and Healthy Streets. The commitment comprises $1 million per year over three years and will support in-country child road traffic injury prevention programmes, together with global advocacy and coordination. Partnership work will begin at the start of 2018. The Abertis Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Spain-based Abertis Group, the world leading toll road management company.
The funding will build upon initial work which has been developed by UNICEF with support from the FIA Foundation to protect children on the world’s roads, aiming towards ensuring a safe journey to school for every child. The approach is to scale-up work nationally towards these objectives.
Speaking at the Every Journey, Every Child conference Jorge Olague UNICEF’s Private Fundraising and Partnerships Director said: “Globally, road traffic injury is a major burden particularly upon older children and 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. The Abertis Foundation 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.”
On behalf of the Child Health Initiative, Avi Silverman FIA Foundation Deputy Director said: “This commitment makes an important contribution to all of our efforts to achieve results for children. All donors, including the corporate sector, need to raise their game if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal agenda on road safety and deliver a safe journey to school for every child. This commitment is a leading example of exactly what needs to be done. We look forward to seeing this support translate into action on the ground to save lives.”
Also speaking at the London conference, Francisco Reynés, Abertis CEO & Vice Chairman said: “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.” Also launching the initiative at the CHI’s conference were UNICEF Spain Executive Director Javier Martos Mota and Fernando García Casas, State Secretary for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America & Caribbean, Government of Spain.
Since the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals which include targets on road safety, UNICEF with FIA Foundation support and as part of the CHI, has begun developing child road traffic injury prevention programmes around the world. A total of nine countries have been supported in this work. The Abertis Funding is intended to build on this and will focus on scaling-up work in a smaller number of countries. Initially, two of these countries - Philippines and Jamaica - are set to benefit from the Abertis funding.
The funding will assist with efforts to develop national responses to child road traffic injury which are a severe and unacceptable health burden on children in both Philippines and Jamaica in common with many low- and middle-income countries. 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, Vietnam.