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Keeping road safety reform rolling in the Lao PDR

15 June 2023

With an expanding road network and rapid rise in vehicle ownership, road safety has become a major public health issue in the Lao PDR. Road crashes are the leading cause of death among children and young people, and the single greatest cause of disability across all age groups. Cumulatively, the impact on the national economy is substantial, leading to estimated economic losses of around five percent of GDP.

This blog from The World Bank highlights how efforts to reduce road trauma in Laos face several challenges. Much of the existing road network does not follow safe design principles; road planners and engineers have limited knowledge and experience; there are gaps in policies and regulations; compliance with traffic rules is weak; and emergency care and rehabilitation services are rudimentary. Moreover, development partner support for road safety is limited.

Since 2019 the World Bank Laos country team has made two successful grant applications to the Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF), a global multi-donor fund which is hosted by the World Bank and helps governments develop road safety management capacity and scale up road safety in low- and middle-income countries.

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