Under the patronage of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, and in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the 2023 Reaching the Last Mile (RLM) Forum convened global frontline, governmental, and community leaders at COP28 Health Day. The Forum galvanized momentum and commitments to tackle climate-linked health challenges, particularly polio, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases, in the world’s most underserved communities.
Recognizing the critical role of inclusive healthcare systems in mitigating the climate crisis’s impact, the discussions highlighted innovative solutions, initiatives, and funding models for advancing sustainable and equitable healthcare precisely where it’s needed most.
High-level attendees included Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization; Sir Christopher Hohn, Founder of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation; Mrs. Tsitsi Masiyiwa, Co-Founder and Chair of Higherlife Foundation and Delta Philanthropies; and Mr. Amit Bouri, CEO and Co-Founder of Global Impact Investing Network.
“Ensuring inclusive engagement from regions most vulnerable to climate inaction is a core focus for COP28,” stated Badr Jafar, COP28 Special Representative for Business & Philanthropy, in his opening remarks before the ‘Financing the Last Mile’ panel. “By doing so, we empower diverse capital actors to collaborate with speed and scale, driven by a shared sense of purpose and urgency.”
Jafar further emphasized, “Our next generation keenly understands the interconnectedness of climate with critical issues like public health, food security, biodiversity, and economic equity. Reaching the Last Mile exemplifies the impact achieved when the right philanthropic partners unite strategically to take meaningful, targeted, and long-term action.”
The Reaching the Last Mile Forum embodies the UAE leadership’s unwavering commitment to eradicating preventable diseases in the world’s most vulnerable communities. It advocates for long-term commitments, prioritizes impactful areas, inspires collective action, and pioneers innovative solutions. Stakeholders at the Forum united to announce new pledges and commitments, echoing COP28’s call to forge a healthier, more resilient future together.