World Bank hosts #SaveKidsLives forum

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Zoleka Mandela
Zoleka Mandela
Kate Carr, CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide joined the panel
Kate Carr, CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide joined the panel
FIA Foundation’s Saul Billingsley launched the ‘Safe to Learn’ report
FIA Foundation’s Saul Billingsley launched the ‘Safe to Learn’ report
Pierre Guislan, World Bank Senior Director for Transport & ICT
Pierre Guislan, World Bank Senior Director for Transport & ICT

Zoleka Mandela was the keynote speaker at a #SaveKidsLives forum at the World Bank in Washington D.C. to mark UN Global Road Safety Week.

The global road safety activist and granddaughter of Nelson Mandela joined World Bank Vice President for Global Practices, Keith Hansen (speaking above), to launch the World Bank’s support for the #SaveKidsLives campaign. Also speaking at the Forum, on 4th May 2015, were Pierre Guislain, senior director for the Bank’s Transport and ICT global practice, Kate Carr, CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide, and Saul Billingsley, Director General of the FIA Foundation, who launched the joint FIA Foundation & UNICEF report ’Safe to Learn: Safe Journeys to School are a Child’s Right’ at the event.

Zoleka Mandela said: “As I stand here today, right now in my thoughts are the 500 families who have suffered the loss of a child in just the last 24 hours. Those feeling the same suffocating pain as my own family has done. Parents losing that which they hold most precious. The world will barely notice this suffering. And worse, there will be no action to prevent the 500 tragedies of tomorrow, and each day after that. I’m speaking today because I want to say that we can no longer sit here and ignore this crisis. Collectively we are failing. And we are being failed by our leaders. We must change this. We must demand action.”

Keith Hansen, World Bank Vice-President for Global Practices., said: “Unless drastic and effective action is taken, road traffic injuries are predicted to become the fifth-leading cause of death by 2030 . Specific targets to improve road safety and save lives are part of the new Sustainable Development Goals which should help us generate momentum to tackle road safety decisively.”

Also speaking at the forum was Kate Carr, CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. Safe Kids Worldwide is proud to join our partners in providing strong support for the #SaveKidsLives campaign, which is centered on reading, signing, sharing, and delivering the Child Declaration on Road Safety”, she told the event. “That Declaration calls on policymakers at all levels to take strong actions to improve safety for children. For policymakers responding to this call to action, we have good news: we know what strategies work. Reducing speed, cracking down on drinking and driving, using helmets on bikes and motorbikes, restraining children in vehicles, and establishing safe school zones are all incredibly important steps to take.”

The World Bank event provided a platform for the launch of the ‘Safe to Learn’ report by the FIA Foundation and UNICEF. Saul Billingsley of the FIA Foundation described the aims of the report, and the work that the Foundation is undertaking for child safety with UNICEF and other partners including Save the Children, the FIA and regional road safety NGOs. “No child should die on the road. That has to be our aim, our goal, the moral cause we rally to. And this week, in an advocacy report that the FIA Foundation and UNICEF are launching together – ‘Safe to Learn’ – we give this cause a practical focus. Start with the schools. Start with the place that brings local communities together, the place that forms the beating heart of those communities. By ensuring safe routes to school, by targeting street infrastructure and vehicle speed and police enforcement, by supporting local activism, we can generate a ripple effect that spreads across cities, across regions, across countries”, Saul Billingsley said.

Chairing the event, Pierre Guislan, the World Bank’s Senior Director for Transport & ICT, highlighted the opportunities in 2015, with the finalisation of the SDGs, the Brazil Ministerial Conference and the recent appointment of Jean Todt as the first UN Special Envoy for Road Safety, and pledged the Bank’s commitment to delivering road safety improvements: “The World Bank is in a unique position to lead the global effort for the implementation of road safety targets in developing countries”, he said. . We have the tools and funding mechanisms, but collaboration between countries, the Bank and other partners will be key for achieving impactful results.”