The EU MENA programme is a one million Euros funded project spanning three years in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia. It aims to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries in the beneficiary countries through:
- capacity building activities for key staff in the region;
- coordinated multi-sector and multi-disciplinary cooperation on road safety and sustainable mobility in the communities;
- the implementation of projects that are evidence based and results focused;
- the development of a transnational regional network on road safety with a shared vision for road safety;
- the production of road safety support tools for the region.
With the programme now in its second phase, advisory groups and multi-sectoral committees are well established in each of the beneficiary countries with strong representation from government ministries, police, road safety NGOs, the private sector and media. Plans for the pilot projects have been finalized or are being fine tuned under GRSP expert supervision. National workshops have been held in the majority of the countries, decisions have been taken, actions set and endorsed. Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies are also fully engaged and will play an important role in most of the pilot projects.
Here are just a few highlights from EU MENA beneficiary countries:
In Lebanon, the project ‘Data Reform, Speed Reduction and Drinking & Driving Management’ will be officially launched in September 2013. The national workshop held in May was a success in establishing effective working groups, and currently designated police detachments are developing an enforcement strategy in line with GRSP recommendations, and a template for crash data entry for the Traffic Management Centre is in its final stages of design. This project will be tested on a pilot road segment to the north of the capital Beirut.
In Tunisia, the project ‘Design and Establishment of a Road Safety Management System for Sfax Governorate Regional Transport Company (SORETRAS)’, the lead public transport company in Sfax, has set a target to reach zero fatalities by the year 2015 and to reduce injuries by 50% by the year 2020. A Road Safety Management Manual and Policy have been developed for SORETRAS based on this target. Specifications for the establishment of a support system to the operations is being completed. Two major events have also been selected at which to conduct awareness campaigns around vulnerable road users, seat-belt use and helmet use: ‘Back to School’ in mid-September 2013 and ‘Africa Road Safety Day’ on the 24th of November 2013. We will report on both events.
And lastly, in Egypt, the project ‘Traffic Calming in Areas of Cairo’ held its national workshop in February of this year. Several media outlets have been secured for the campaign, a sporting personality is being sought to act as ambassador for the campaign and private funding has been committed to cover the costs of proposed engineering works.
As with all GRSP programmes, we will use the website and the monthly newsletter to keep you informed of further progress and developments in this exciting and important programme.