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September 29, 2014

Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit to Collaborate on Bloomberg Philanthropies’ New $125 Million Global Road Safety Program

Injury Unit Joins Partners to Help Reduce Road Traffic Fatalities and Injuries in 10 Low- and Middle-Income Cities


Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced a five-year, $125 million Global Road Safety Program, and the International Injury Research Unit at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health will be one of eight organizations spearheading a continued effort to reduce injuries and fatalities caused by road traffic accidents.

Often overlooked as a serious global health burden, road traffic injuries result in nearly 1.24 million deaths each year, with an additional 20 to 50 million people injured or disabled. In low- and middle-income countries, the rate of road traffic injuries is twice as high as in developed nations. If no action is taken, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that road traffic injuries will jump to the fifth-leading cause of deaths, up from the current eighth-leading cause. The economic losses associated with road traffic deaths are just as devastating, costing low- and middle-income countries an estimated $100 billion every year.

In this second phase of the Global Road Safety Program, Bloomberg Philanthropies will invite 20 low- and middle-income cities with populations of more than two million to apply for grants to address critical road-safety risks, such as speeding, drinking and driving and seatbelt and helmet use. They will choose 10 cities to receive grants. Grants will also be used to strengthen road-safety laws, improve pedestrian safety and enhance infrastructure.

“By reinvesting in the effort to improve global road safety, Bloomberg Philanthropies will continue to save lives,” says Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH, dean of the Bloomberg School. “I am very pleased that our International Injury Research Unit and the Bloomberg School are continuing this partnership.”

The School and the International Injury Research Unit will join seven other partner organizations, including the WHO, to implement and coordinate activities with local governmental and non-governmental organizations in the 10 selected cities in an effort to reduce injuries and fatalities caused by road traffic accidents.

“This gives us a wonderful opportunity to continue the work we began in 2010 as part of the first Global Road Safety Program,” says Adnan A. Hyder, MD, PhD, MPH, a professor in the Bloomberg School’s Department of International Health and director of the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit.

In 2010, JH-IIRU joined a consortium of six partners, including the World Bank, WHO, the Global Road Safety Partnership, ASIRT, and EMBARQ, to evaluate and implement road safety solutions in 10 countries that account for nearly half (48 percent) of all traffic deaths globally. The first Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Program was a five-year undertaking dedicated to evaluating and implementing road safety solutions where they were needed most. 

Hyder’s team from IIRU will be responsible for monitoring and evaluating the activities of the 10 selected cities. They will also develop and conduct training programs in road traffic injury prevention for public health professionals in these countries.

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Media contact at the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit: Bobbi Nicotera at (410) 955-5877 or

Media contact at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Stephanie Desmon at (410) 955-7619 or