World Bank: Road accidents have a high financial cost for Albania

World Bank: Road accidents have a high financial cost for Albania
Poor road maintenance and road accidents caused by this represent a high financial cost for Albania. Such fact is confirmed by a special report of the World Bank, according to which, the countries that do not invest as much as they should in this aspect, Albania included, will lose from 7% to 22% of Gross Domestic Product potential for a quarter of a century.

The report also says that the lack of action by policy makers in this aspect leads to 1.25 million deaths a year all over the world. “A decrease of 10% in the number of road accidents means an increase of at least 3.6% of Gross Domestic Product per capita”, the World Bank also reports. Meanwhile, the leading financial institution also says that road accidents have an impact on the decline of productivity and economic slowdown. The figure that this leading international institution provides about road accidents in Albania is 14 per 100 thousand residents and this figure is considered to be one of the highest ones in the countries of the region. Meanwhile, INSTAT and EUROSTAT have also previously reported alarming data regarding road safety, ranking it third in Europe in terms of the number of road accidents, namely 94 accidents per 1 million residents. Meanwhile, Europe’s average for such indicator is 50 victims per 1 million residents. This way, as the World Bank reports, missing investments in this aspect has forced Albania to pay a high price for such situation. “The numerous road accidents in Albania are directly linked to the low investments made for road maintenance”, the World Bank reported in a previous study regarding the existence of such phenomenon.

90% of road accidents caused by road damages

“Every year, 1.25 million people die in the roads of the world, while 20 to 50 million others remain seriously injured in road accidents”, the World Bank also says, adding, on the other hand the fact that the majority of them, namely 90%, are caused by damaged roads and they mainly happen in countries with low and average incomes, such as Albania. “Thus, they represent a serious economic burden for public health”, World Bank experts say, adding that due to the lack of accurate data, the effect of damaged roads on economic growth and social wellbeing has been hard to be assessed by them. “Road safety goes beyond the transport sector, with a direct effect on public health, societies and economies. Also, because road safety is an issue which involves a number of sectors, true progress may only happen if all relevant players join their efforts”, they also confirm.

National and personal finances are damaged

The effect on national revenues is only a part of the damage caused by road accidents which occur as a result of lack of safety in them. Road accidents also cause a big financial damage in the individual wellbeing of the citizens. This is confirmed by the World Bank, according to which, prevention of road accidents, by maintaining and rehabilitating roads, would ensure people more healthy years and at the same time, more sustainable incomes. For this reason, its experts recommend respective authorities in developing countries, which include Albania, to do more for road safety.

Road maintenance, WB: Contracts are being amended and they lack clarity

Contracts signed between the Albanian government and operators who are responsible for road maintenance, are being reviewed. The World Bank, which funds the project called “Road Maintenance and Safety based on Results” and which has a value of 65.9 million euros, has reported during the last assessment of the progress that contracts that have been entered with different operators are being reviewed. “Road contracts are going through an amendment phase and they must be approved as soon as possible in order to ensure a successful application. In most cases, these issues relate to the volume of rehabilitation works (asphalting and others), which are necessary to meet specific standards of the road. The volume of these works was not evaluated as it should have during the period of the preparation of the project and the conditions of these roads have changed. There are also a number of other issues which need to be addressed by revisiting specific details and other parts of the contract, which sometimes lack clarity”, the report published by the World Bank says.


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