The Ethicalist | How Three Words are Making the World a Safer Place

Four billion people on Earth don’t have a reliable address. Without that they can’t get help, deliveries or an ambulance in an emergency. Now, a simple app is addressing the issue.

The Red Cross has already seen first-hand how effective the app is, enabling them to help the residents of Luzon when Haima struck causing up to $76.9 million in damages, killing four and displacing more than 100,000 people.

It can literally be used anywhere and by anyone, including the 4.2 billion people around the world who don’t have regular internet access. As the three words will never change, people without smartphones or access to the app can go online once, find out their allocated three words and pin them to their front doors.

On a medical front, inadequate addressing also leaves people struggling to register at medical clinics, consequently diseases fail to be monitored, medicines are not delivered and patients are lost.

Governments are becoming quick to recognise the opportunities that what3words presents. Five nations have now adopted the addressing system for their national postal services: Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, Tonga in the South Pacific, Mongolia in Asia, Saint Maarten in the Caribbean, and Cote d’Ivoire. And as what3words continues to help developing economies meet the needs of its people, the number of countries adopting it as their national addressing system is likely to grow.

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