The last mile is the first mile we have to walk

IFRC Secretary General Elhadj As Sy speaks on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

In sectors ranging from financial inclusion to internet connectivity to energy, governments and businesses are focused on finding new models that can deliver services to people living at the “last mile” — the communities that public and private services struggle to reach.

In humanitarian crisis, prevention, response and relief plans would do well to think of those same communities as their first lines of defense and key sources of information, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Secretary General Elhadj As Sy told Devex at an event on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“That is where we have outbreaks of epidemics. That is where people realize there is something not right going on,” Sy said.

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About the author

  • Igoe michael 1

    Michael Igoe

    Michael Igoe is a Senior Reporter with Devex, based in Washington, D.C. He covers U.S. foreign aid, global health, climate change, and development finance. Prior to joining Devex, Michael researched water management and climate change adaptation in post-Soviet Central Asia, where he also wrote for EurasiaNet. Michael earned his bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College, where he majored in Russian, and his master’s degree from the University of Montana, where he studied international conservation and development.