NTU assists Pakistan’s Ministry of Communication
NTU recently assisted Pakistan’s Ministry of Communications in the organization of the 3rd National Steering Committee for Road Safety. The Steering Committee met on the 10th of April 2018 at the National Highway Authority's office in Islamabad to deliberate on how to improve road safety across Pakistan's entire road network. Due to our commitment to the project: Enabling Economic Corridors through Sustainable Transport Sector Development – Road Safety Component 2016 – 2019, NTU also attended the steering committee meeting. All road safety key partners, including the ADB Country Director for Pakistan and representatives of DFID, were in attendance. At the meeting, the national consultation process for the ratification and implementation of both the National Road Safety Strategy 2018-2030 and Action Plan 2018-2022 was approved. Both strategy and action plan had been prepared by the Ministry of Communication with full-time support from NTU’s team of international and national specialists, all residing in Islamabad. Nikolay Chavov, a NTU Project Manager, attended the meeting and noted that:
“It is very rewarding to see how the hard work that NTU’s team put into this TA has resulted in a major step forward for Road Safety in Pakistan. For Pakistan, The National Road Safety Strategy 2018-2030 sets a challenging, but at the same time achievable, target of saving at least 6000 lives by 2030 and thereby achieving the new UN road safety targets for 2030”
NTU’s team leader supported the Ministry of Communication in presenting the proposed strategy, which is based on a safe-system approach and includes the following key focus areas of action to road safety management: deliver safe roads, safe road users, safer vehicles, and improved post-crash care.
Improving road safety in Pakistan
The technical assistance provided by NTU International is coordinated by the Asian Development Bank and funded by the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom. Xiaohong Yang, ADB Country Director for Pakistan said:
“As Pakistan is investing big to upgrade its transport and road infrastructure, matching efforts are required to catch up with other countries in boosting road safety standards. Improving road safety not only means saving precious lives, but also ensuring sustainable and inclusive economic development through smooth and efficient connectivity between growth centers.” (Source ADB)
The meeting also supported the initiation of the National Road Safety Council to coordinate delivery of the strategy and achieve the sustainable, system-wide changes required to improve road safety in the country.
“Estimates suggest there are at least 25,000 fatalities on Pakistan’s roads every month and that 39% of all reported incidents include fatalities. In Pakistan, in partnership with ADB, we are committed to improving the policy and regulatory environment governing the transport sector, including ensuring safety of the road networks. As well as saving lives, a reliable, safe, and efficient transport sector will also help the whole economy,” said Patricia Seex, Head of Economic Growth Group at DFID Pakistan. (Source ADB)
In support of raising awareness on Road safety and as part of the National Road Safety Awareness campaign, which has been developed by the Ministry of Communication, the Steering Committee forum launched the new Road Safety platform developed under this TA. The knowledge sharing and awareness raising web page is now officially launched and accessible at: http://www.roadsafetypakistan.pk/. National Highway Authority Chairman Jawwad Rafique Malik, and other senior officials from federal and provincial government agencies, and representatives of transport industry and business leaders, academia, and civil society also attended the meeting. The National Highways & Motorway Police was represented by over 20 delegates, who showed a great commitment to further work hard for improving the safety of road users in Pakistan.