EU funded regional project TRACECA Road Safety II now launched (11/02/2015)

European Union Assisting Tajikistan
EU funded regional project TRACECA Road Safety II now launched


NATIONAL ROAD SAFETY WORKSHOP IN DUSHANBE, FEBRUARY 10-13
Within the framework of the recently launched regional European Union (EU) project TRACECA Road Safety II, the National Road Safety Workshop in Tajikistan will be held during 10-13 Feb 2015 in Dushanbe. This four day event will include a three day action planning workshop attended by high level officials of the Government of Tajikistan and the EU, and representatives of the private sector and civil society organizations. The purpose of the workshop is to discuss and outline the details of the project, but the event will also serve as an opportunity to raise awareness about the issue of road safety and its implications for the economy of the Republic of Tajikistan.

ROAD SAFETY – A GROWING CONCERN AND COST FOR TAJIKISTAN
Road safety is a growing problem in many countries around the world and this is also true for Tajikistan. Road crashes in Tajikistan alone currently result in around 1,244 deaths and at least 12,440 serious injuries annually - many of which will result in permanent disability of the victims. The fatality rate for Tajikistan is 18.09 per 100,000 persons, which is three times as high as the average fatality rates in Europe. In total, traffic incidents are estimated to cost the country around 4.4% of its annual GDP and result in total losses to the economy of around $250 million annually, an amount that is equal to nearly half of the total development assistance of $436 million that Tajikistan receives from all sources combined. So, such recurring losses undoubtedly inhibit the economic and social development of the country and there is clearly considerable scope and opportunity for improvement.

JOINT EFFORTS TO TACKLE THE ISSUE
Experience in other regions demonstrates that road safety issues can be tackled effectively if appropriate road safety management and coordination structures are established and proven solutions are implemented to reduce road crashes and casualties. Particularly impressive benefits can be achieved if a regional approach is taken to harmonise efforts, to share knowledge and experience, and to work towards regional targets. The EU has reduced its deaths by nearly 50% in the last decade, and other regional collaboration has delivered similar significant benefits. As a member of the United Nations Tajikistan has already committed itself to the UN Decade of Action on Road Safety and will be trying to reduce road deaths to contribute towards the UN Decade Global target of a 50% reduction in road deaths by 2020. Regional support programmes, such as the TRACECA programme, can assist Tajikistan in this task by helping it to identify the underlying causal problems resulting in poor road safety and to then develop and implement appropriate remedial measures to strengthen capacity and reduce casualties.

THE WAY FORWARD
The next phase of the TRACECA Road Safety Project for Tajikistan is to develop a specific action plan to contribute efficiently towards the overall TRACECA Regional Road Safety Action Plan that has been agreed jointly with nine other TRACECA countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan). The first task will be to assess the needs in each country and to identify common problems that could be addressed in joint workshops and regional initiatives. This project will be closely monitored using innovative strategic management techniques to assess developmental progress to ensure that it delivers the required benefits and the desired impacts and outcomes.

For further information please refer to:
1. Stefaan Bil, EC Task Manager, email: stefaan.bil@ec.euroa.eu
2. Dr Alan Ross, TRACECA road safety project, Team Leader, email: alanross999@gmail.com 
3. Miss Mariya Ivchenko, TRACECA Project Coordinator, tel. +380 442 721 068, tel. / fax +380 443 310 217. 
4. EU Delegation to Tajikistan, Miss Mahbuba Abdullaeva, Press Officer, tel. (992 37) 221-74-07, 227-09-74.