UN helped 10,000 Syrian refugees using the hottest technology today.
The war continues and the number of casualties continue to rise. It’s been six years of bombing, killing, sacrificing, losing, crying, helping, and hoping. Estimated number of deaths ranging from 321,358 to 470,000. On 23 April 2016, the United Nations and Arab League Envoy to Syria put out an estimate of 400,000 that had died in the war. UNICEF reported that over 500 children had been killed by early February 2012.
One of the largest-ever implementations of the ethereum blockchain for a charitable cause has just concluded a successful trial.
Completed on 31st May, the project run by the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP) was designed to direct resources to thousands of Syrian refugees by giving them cryptocurrency-based vouchers that could be redeemed in participating markets.
As revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, the platform was successfully used to record and authenticate transfers for about 10,000 individuals. The platform was implemented by Parity Technologies, a startup led by ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood, and blockchain big data firm Datarella.
Alexandra Alden, a WFP innovation accelerator consultant who helped oversee the implementation, told CoinDesk:
“All funds received by the refuges from WFP were specifically used to purchase food items such as olive oil, pasta and lentils.”
The WFP is now in the process of gathering more detailed analytics, such as exactly how many transactions were conducted.
Extending the project
As reported by CoinDesk in early May, the WFP intends to expand the project to include 100,000 individuals in Jordan as soon as August. If that goes according to plan, the effort is set to grow to serve the entire Jordanian refugee population by the end of 2018.
Now Alden has confirmed to CoinDesk that the agency eventually hopes to implement the service beyond the borders of Jordan.
“The plan is to expand the project pilot firstly across Jordan, but we are also evaluating use cases and potential applications in other regions.”
Currently, the agency is in talks with partners in the humanitarian and private sectors who can help it with its goal of achieving Zero Hunger by 2030, Alden said.
Notably, since the Jordan project was first initiated, the UN has revealed a wide range of blockchain projects being undertaken by other agencies under its umbrella.