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United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to Test Blockchain for Refugee Aid Supply Chain in Africa

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) recently piloted a new Ethereum-based system, allowing users to make cash transfers into refugee camps in Jordan. The project has been called Building Blocks, but the WFP wants to continue on this progressive path. In a recent announcement, the organization decided that the next logical step is to expand their blockchain’s testing. Right now, the testing is from refugee aid that is in the Middle East, but it will soon be adapted to the supply chain management within Africa. The blockchain will be tested to see how effective it is can be for tracking East Africa’s food delivery. It will log details about the migration from Djibouti’s port to Ethiopia, which is where most of South African’s food operations take place. This testing phase was confirmed by the WFP director of innovation and change, Robert Opp. The goal of this new project, according to Opp, will be to answer a singular question – “Can we increase efficiency by knowing in real time where the food is, be able to demonstrate the food's origin in shipment points, to have this traceability record?” The WFP also wants to work with Syrian refugee women in Jordan, helping them to preserve their personal information and limit the amount of third-party access with a permission-based blockchain system. Opp noted, “We want to know how easy it is for people to interact with a system like blockchain and understand, ‘this is my data, I can control access.’ We yet have to figure out how it will look.” Building Blocks will be the breeding ground for this educational initiative. Building Blocks was only launched last year, but it has managed to reach over 100,000 refugees. In the utmost level of identity verification, everything from paying for groceries to receiving cash back is performed after a quick iris scan, which would be nearly impossible to hack. As each transaction takes place, the blockchain records them on a privatized Ethereum ledger. There will also be digital literacy support, due to a recently-announced partnership with the cash-for-work program by the UN Women. When Opp spoke at a panel at the Concordia Summit in New York, he discussed the achievements that the Building Blocks effort has reached, specifically regarding the Jordanian refugee camps. He said, “We are reaching 106,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan every month with cash benefits transfers. By implementing blockchain system we have been able to save around $40,000 a month in the transfer fees.” Right now, there are four nodes for the storage of partial personal data of registered users on the WFP network. Opp noted, “The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees keeps the full biometric data in a secure cloud solution. We only download some basic unique identifying information, we don't put their full information on blockchain. I'm not even sure that their full names go there.” Even though the project is presently operating on a private version of the blockchain, Opp noted that the transition to a public network is not out of the question. However, it seemed that he was only willing to move it over if there are speed concerns, which should not be an issue for the current system.
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United Nations Women to Use Blockchain with World Food Program (WFP) for Jordan Refugee Camp Payments

UN Women Partners With World Food Program (WFP) To Introduce Blockchain Payments In Jordan Refugee Camps A press release by the UN Women, an entity established under the United Nations (UN) confirms the introduction of a blockchain based payment system to the women refugees at the Za’atari and Azraq camps. The initiative that is set to kick-off in the Jordanian refugee camps later in the year, will make the transaction systems in the camps more transparent and faster. With over 115,000 refugees in these two camps, blockchain technology will be a huge addition to keeping sufficient records of the huge population. The cash for work program will see the women refugees in the UN Women be able to participate in the program and get paid through the blockchain which eliminates the need for intermediaries. The initiative scraps off financial transactions through middle men like banks, money remittance agents and other institutions in a bid to make the system more transparent. In addition, the initiative will allow the women participants to redeem the tokens for cash at WFP-contracted supermarkets or use the tokens directly for purchase in the shopping centers. UN Women Building Blocks Blockchain Payment System UN Women is an establishment by the UN to push for the empowerment of women across the globe as well as pushing for gender equality. In the latest announcement made by the organization on blockchain integration in the payment system in Jordan camps, UN Women is further pushing for blockchain integration across its network. The new blockchain solution draws inspiration from the co-partner WPF project Building Blocks that allowed refugees to purchase food through an iris scan. The refugees account is on a blockchain and by scanning their iris, over 76,000 refugees in Za’atari could purchase their food without the need of a third party account. Furthermore, the organization is focusing on the uplifting of women refugees in the camps through a series of seminars on the Building Block to increase financial knowledge in the camps. More Progress By United Nations With Blockchain Solutions The United Nations 73rd Session of the General Assembly will be a historic one for the field of blockchain as the UN will discuss the importance of the technology in our world today and ways to enhance adoption. The event is set out for the end of this month. UN Women has joined a number of initiatives its umbrella body, the UN, has on blockchain technology. The ease blockchain technology brings to the organization’s functions in solving humanitarian problems, has seen a range of projects started out. For instance, the organization has partnered with the World Identity Network (WIN) to create a blockchain-based digital identity system to help fight child trafficking.
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UN Women and WFP Partner to Use Blockchain to Aid Women Syrian Refugees in Jordan

The UN Women and the World Food Programme (WFP) are using the blockchain to aid women Syrian refugees in crisis situations. Empowering Syrian Refugees The two organizations are working together within the UN Women’s cash for work programme at the Za’atari and Azraq refugee camps in Jordan, according to a press release. Syrian refugee women taking part will be able to access funds straightaway, all of which will be securely maintained on the blockchain. Previously, women received cash on a monthly basis on a set date. Yet, with the use of the blockchain, it is helping to empower Syrian women refugees. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of UN Women, said: We know that women in crisis situations and displacement settings tend to have lower digital literacy than men, and often lack access to the technology and connectivity that are so critical in today’s world. UN Women and the WFP are also considering the possibility of helping refugee women with cash back at WFP-contracted supermarkets. At a WFP-contracted supermarket, a woman Syrian refugee would scan her eye through an innovative iris scan payment system, with London-based IrisGuard, to request cash back. This would link back to her account on the blockchain, with the amount sent to Building Blocks. Building Blocks was the WFP’s first project to embrace the blockchain to make cash transfers more efficient, transparent, and secure. In 2017, it undertook pilot projects in Pakistan’s Sindh province and in Jordan to determine the technology’s capabilities. Since then, the program appears to be going from strength to strength. To date, it has helped provide cash transfers to 106,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan through the blockchain. However, it’s aiming to reach all 500,000 Syrian refugees. Aiding the WFP In April, it was reported that Belgium was contributing €2 million to support the WFP’s innovative projects. This includes its blockchain project aimed at fighting world hunger. At the time, the agency said the money would go toward increasing efforts with its blockchain pilot as well as its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) project. The WFP currently works with over 80 countries feeding people caught in conflict. The latest partnership with UN Women illustrates WFP’s intentions of reaching zero hunger by 2030. David Beasley, executive director of WFP, said that the agency was always exploring new methods to help people, adding: Our work with UN Women to help female Syrian refugees is yet another sign of that innovative spirit, in this case using technology to make an even bigger impact on the lives of those we serve. What do you think of the work the WFP and UN Women are doing? Let us know in the comments below. Image courtesy of ShutterStock The post UN Women and WFP Partner to Use Blockchain to Aid Women Syrian Refugees in Jordan appeared first on Live Bitcoin News.
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