Transport and Covid-19: responses and resources

ITF and World Health Organization to expand collaboration

Plans for the creation of a new Health and Safety Hub to work on links between transport and health policies

The International Transport Forum (ITF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) will strengthen their collaboration on road safety and expand their co-operation to new areas at the intersection of human mobility and public health.

A Memorandum of Understanding signed on 2 November 2023 in Paris by ITF Secretary-General Young Tae Kim and WHO Assistant Director-General Ailan Li foresees joint activities relating to

  • road safety;
  • the co-benefits of sustainable transport policies for reducing emissions and supporting health outcomes, including for active mobility;
  • the health impacts of transport-related air, noise, soil, and water pollution;
  • the trade of second-hand vehicles;
  • the role of transport in relation to pandemics.

The collaboration will cover all geographical locations, with a specific focus on low- and middle-income countries and on expanding existing ITF activities into Africa.

Specifically, the agreement envisages the creation of a Health and Safety Hub by the ITF with support from WHO. The Hub will serve as a centre for collaboration between the two organisations, supporting joint research projects and events and facilitating the exchange of data and information.

ITF Secretary-General Young Tae Kim said:

“The WHO has long been a trusted and valued partner of the ITF in our work on making the world’s roads safer. It is a natural step to expand our joint efforts into the many other areas where human mobility and public health issues intersect – pollution, active mobility, disease control and others. The Covid-19 pandemic was a dramatic reminder of that fact, and we are now drawing the right lessons from that experience. I am deeply grateful to WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus for his friendship and support. I look forward to the launch of the Health and Safety Hub in ITF and to many joint ITF-WHO projects that improve people’s lives.”

Photos of the signing ceremony for free download:

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