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Before paying, each shopper, a Syrian refugee living in the Azraq camp in Jordan, peered into a black, rectangular iris scanner, which confirms users’ identities with the camp’s organizing group, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and allows them to access a food stipend from the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP). Instead of receiving WFP funds via a third party, such as a bank, the grocery store was reconciling each purchase directly with the aid group through a secure platform called Building Blocks, based on blockchain technology.
Blockchain is essentially a shared digital ledger system: a decentralized database that allows information to be exchanged among several parties but not altered. Transactions become blocks of data that are chained together, making everything transparent and easy to review. It is the technology behind cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum,
Today, blockchain is being applied to everything from energy trading to legal contracts, and is poised to transform how we store and share personal information. But one of its most profound uses, say advocates, may be in international aid, where documentation is scarce and operating budgets are low. By eliminating intermediaries, blockchain technology creates faster, safer, and, ultimately, cheaper ways of doing business.
Organizations working in international relief can lose up to 3.5% of each aid transaction to various fees and costs. What’s more, across the industry, an estimated 30% of all development funds don’t reach their intended recipients because of third-party theft or mismanagement. In Jordan, the WFP can use Building Blocks to audit each beneficiary’s spending in near-real time. And by paying vendors directly, Building Blocks has reduced money-management costs by 98%, according to Haddad.
The entire article is here.
These other organizations are using secure technology to bring stability to vulnerable communities.
Alice - London-based platform brings transparency to philanthropy by collecting and holding charitable donations—and releasing them only after an organization shares metrics demonstrating its success. Its first project is with a local homeless charity.
Minneapolis’s BanQu uses blockchain to establish “economic identities” for people who lack access to banks. In Kenya, it’s helping refugees secure government aid and services. In Latin America, it has created shareable property registries to help female farmers prove ownership and secure loans.
Like Building Blocks, Aid:Tech eliminates transaction fees and fraud by allowing NGOs to disperse digital cash vouchers directly to recipients. The Irish Red Cross has used it to help Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
Project Amply, from a Cape Town organization, which is running a pilot with South African preschoolers, creates immutable digital identities to help children in Africa receive educational services and subsidies.
-=-=-=-=-=- Jayne Cravens Author, The LAST Virtual Volunteering Guidebook
From Wikipedia: "A blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each block typically contains a hash pointer as a link to a previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. By design, blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data. A blockchain can serve as "an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way." For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for validating new blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks, which needs a collusion of the network majority. Blockchains are secure by design and are an example of a distributed computing system... (this) makes blockchains potentially suitable for the recording of events, medical records, and other records management activities, such as identity management, transaction processing, documenting provenance, or food traceability."
More and more NGOs are using blockchain technology in their development and humanitarian work. But understanding this revolutionary technology can be a steep learning curve. This resource, Top 11 resources on blockchain for global development, can help.
If you want to follow these type of developments specifically, use the search terms include “blockchain for good” or “blockchain for social impact”, and the hashtag #blockchain4good. The definition of “good” varies massively....
The United Nations has partnered with the World Identity Network (WIN) to develop a blockchain identity pilot aimed to help curb child trafficking.
The World Identity Network (WIN), the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology (UN-OICT) are partnering to launch a pilot initiative that will use the blockchain technology to help combat child trafficking. A first in the world, this project is part of a broader effort titled "Blockchain For Humanity", announced during the Humanitarian Blockchain Summit in New York on November 10, 2017.
Storing digital identities on a blockchain provides a "significantly higher chance of catching traffickers," a UN press release says. Additionally, securing identity data on an immutable ledger will make trafficking attempts "more traceable and preventable."
According to Dr. Mariana Dahan, co-founder and CEO of WIN, "invisible" children under the age of five and who do not possess a birth certificate are at "risk" and can fall into the hands of child traffickers. These children are often missed by social programs offered by governments or development agencies.
Child trafficking uses fake identification documents to transport young people across borders for eventual forced participation in serious illicit activities including the sex trade.
Yannick Glemarec, UN women deputy executive director said, "Child trafficking is one of the greatest human rights abuses." Blockchain, she continued, would be a "potentially powerful" technology to address the problem and potentially save "millions of children."
The partners seek increased collaboration with the private sector companies, civil society, NGOs, academia, and other stakeholders who would like to be involved and contribute to this cause. To that end, the partners are launching a Global Challenge that looks for the best ideas and expertise in using the blockchain technology for humanitarian purposes, such as fighting child trafficking.
The terms of the Challenge also require to properly identify and address concerns over the privacy of the data and the frameworks needed to be in place for digital identity management. The submissions by interested parties can be made online, through the UNITE Ideas platform: http://bit.ly/Blockchain4Humanity
I think Block chain technology can also help to Syrian refugee to collect funds safely and quickly. Crypto currency can change in paper money easily and help them to get better opportunities for educations to sending them other countries, provide homes for with basic facilities to live, foods like you already mention in your article all funds will be spent in a proper way.
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