At a glance
Transport is a crucial driver of development, bringing socio-economic opportunities within the reach of the poor and enabling economies to be competitive and thrive in a globalized world. Transport connects people to the services they need - helping attain the Millennium Development Goals - and allows people to interact and generate the knowledge that creates long-term growth.
Through its Transport Strategy, “Safe, Clean and Affordable - Transport for Development”, the World Bank has broadened the transport agenda, addressing trade-offs in decision-making and seeking synergies between complementary sectors, e.g. energy and transport. To avoid jeopardizing future personal and commercial mobility, future transport policies and projects need to balance the three pillars of sustainability: social, economic and environmental.
At the G20 summit in Seoul the World Bank was mandated to lead the global discussion on the infrastructure agenda. Due to the long lifetime of transport infrastructure, long-term mobility patterns are determined by today’s choices. The Bank targets infrastructure projects and policies that avoid unsustainable lock-ins of future mobility and allow to leap-frog the experience of developed countries – for instance, high individual motorization rates and their associated negative externalities (congestion, air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, etc.).
In transport, the World Bank mobilizes its worldwide expertise on cutting-edge transport activities and its capacity to generate knowledge transferable from one developing country context to another. World Bank Group lending to transport grew from US$3.3 billion in fiscal year 2006 to US$9 billion in fiscal year 2011 (FY11). In FY11, the transport sector supervised 224 projects with total net commitments of US$39 billion, representing 22 percent of the Bank’s total. Financing for roads and highways was 65 percent of the transport lending in FY11. Railways followed with 16 percent, urban transport with 11 percent, while ports/maritime sector and aviation covered 2 percent and 1 percent of total lending respectively.
The context for transport services and infrastructure is marked by major challenges:
· Rapid urbanization and motorization. The world population is projected to reach over 9 billion by 2050. Most of the growth will be in developing countries. Over half the world’s people lives in urban areas, and this is expected to increase to 69 percent by 2050. Over the next 20 years, more cars may be built than in the auto industry’s 110-year history.
· Accessibility and affordability of transport services. With affordable transport services, rural areas can access markets and nations can benefit from deeper integration into the world economy. International transport costs hinder integration, especially for small landlocked economies. Affordability refers not just to consumer prices but to all costs to society, e.g. time losses in congestion. For the estimated one billion people in low-income countries lacking access to an all-weather road, access to affordable transport services is a major first step towards inclusive development.
· Insufficient road safety. More than 1.2 million people are killed and up to 50 million are injured on the world’s roads every year. Low and middle-income countries account for 90 percent of the deaths. This costs countries 1-2 percent of their GDP, often more than the total development aid they receive. Road traffic deaths and injuries are predicted to become the 3rd largest contributor to the global burden of disease by 2020.
· Urban air pollution. Ninety percent of the urban air pollution is generated by motor vehicles, leading to the death of an estimated 800,000 people each year.
· Climate change. Transport contributes up to 14 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, second only to power generation. Climate change mitigation and adaptation are setting an increasingly urgent agenda, with transport growing into the potential main emitter in the following decades and infrastructure needing to be climate resilient.
The “Safe, Clean and Affordable” Transport Strategy proposes a consolidated approach to develop safe transport services that are respectful of the environment and affordable to the poor. To address the specific challenges and needs of its clients, the Bank offers a broad range of instruments. Investment lending and development policy lending support the provision of essential transport infrastructure capacity and institutional strengthening. Transport analytical work builds upon the rich experience of previous operations and offers strategic guidance for future transport policies and projects.
In the last five years, the key strategic directions of the World Bank in transport have been to: (i) create the conditions for increased support for transport investment and governance, (ii) deepen engagement in the roads and highways subsector, (iii) increase engagement in the urban transport subsector, (iv) diversify engagement in transport for trade and (v) control GHG emissions and mitigate impact.
The World Bank’s strengths in the transport sector stem from four sources: global reach and experience, Bank staff skills covering all modes of transport, the synergies among the Bank Group disciplines, and the synergies among World Bank entities (IBRD/IDA, IFC and MIGA). The World Bank has shown comparative advantages in its capacity for solid financing and co-financing leverage, in its ability to offer platforms of coordination and dialogue and in its multi-sectoral approaches.
· Over the last decade, with the help of IBRD financed projects 37,220 km of roads and 2,773 bridges have been constructed or rehabilitated and 45,177 km of roads have been maintained, whereas IDA-financed projects have helped to construct or rehabilitate about 183,225 km of roads and 18,423 bridges and maintain 189,092 km of roads. These projects have benefited over 75 million people.
· A recent study found that every $1 million invested in the Jamaican transport construction sector created 81 jobs and generated $1.5 million in economic growth. In a Vietnam rural transport project, 1,533 ethnic minority women were trained as rural transportation managers and later employed in the maintenance of 13,470 km of roads supported by the project.
· The World Bank is working with six other Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) to harmonize road safety practice in client countries. The “Road Safety Initiative”, launched in April 2011, commits the seven MDBs to a shared program to achieve the goals of the UN Decade of Action for Global Road Safety (2011–2020). Its implementation is expected to save five million lives by 2020 and avoid 50 million serious injuries.
Related Link: www.worldbank.org/transport
Contacts: Catherine M. Russell: (202) 458-8124, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated March 2012