EMBARQ – The World Resources Institute Center for Sustainable Transport is one of six organizations awarded a total of $125 million by Michael Bloomberg to implement programs in low- and middle-income countries to prevent death and disability from road traffic crashes. This is the largest single donation ever for international road safety.

“Bloomberg Philanthropies is an ideal global strategic partner that will allow EMBARQ to continue to achieve results in some of the world’s most iconic and populated cities,” said Jonathan Lash, president of the World Resources Institute. “It is a significant milestone that Bloomberg recognizes the value of sustainable urban mobility in improving road safety and public health.”

Road traffic crashes kill 1.2 million people and injure up to 50 million each year, according to the World Health Organization. Road traffic injuries are projected to be the fifth leading cause of death globally by 2030. To reverse these trends, Bloomberg’s five-year program will focus on 10 low- and middle-income countries that have a high burden of road traffic injuries and fatalities, representing 48 percent of traffic deaths globally.

EMBARQ’s programs will focus on incorporating sustainable transport and reduced emissions in urban planning. “Helmets and seatbelts are very important, but you also have to think about policies that protect all urban residents, not just transport users,” said Nancy Kete, director of EMBARQ, which includes a network of Centers for Sustainable Transport based in Mexico, Brazil, India, Turkey and the Andean Region. “We’re tackling the problem at the root by considering all of the health and safety benefits associated with mass transit, cycling, walking, clean fuels and vehicles, and vibrant public spaces. These solutions not only provide safer streets, but they also lead to cleaner air, reduced carbon emissions, more physically active citizens, and greater social inclusion.”

Other organizations involved in the initiative include the World Health Organization, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the World Bank Global Road Safety Facility, Global Road Safety Partnership and the Association for Safe International Road Travel.

“We look forward to collaborating with the other Bloomberg partners,” said Claudia Adriazola, EMBARQ’s expert on road safety. “Our success will depend on a coordinated effort to achieve results, and that’s what makes this program so powerful.”