The United Nations World Food Programme has begun using the Ethereum Blockchain to quickly distribute aid in the form of vouchers to refugees in Syria.
In a surprising move, the United Nations has begun using the power of the blockchain and Ethereum to more quickly distribute aid through the World Food Programme.
As part of a pilot project, the United Nations leveraged a platform developed by Parity Technologies – a startup company led by the co-founder of Ethereum, Gavin Wood.
Coin Telegraph reports that the UN was was able to distribute cryptocurrency vouchers to a total of 10,000 people in Syria; the event follows a trial that took place earlier this year in May in Jordan wherein cryptographically unique coupons were similarly issued to refugees.
Rather than use a smartphone or wallet to access the funds, Jordanian refugees were enrolled and processed through hardware dubbed IrisGuard, which – as its name might imply – leverages iris recognition technology to profile and verify the identity of clients.
The United Nations World Food Programme informed CoinDesk that it plans to expand the auspices of the project to include some 100,000 individuals in Jordan, and might well grow to serve the entire refugee population in the country by the end of 2018.
The initiative lead by the World Food Programme is one of many initiatives that the United Nations plans to leverage the power of the blockchain for; other projects that might one day leverage a similar view is that of the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) and UN Women.
What are your thoughts? How else can the United Nations or other international entities leverage the power of the blockchain to quickly distribute funds in relief efforts or other initiatives? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!