United Nations expanding Ethereum-based project to bring aid to Syrian Refugees

09 May, 2018
by Matthew Kim
United Nations expanding Ethereum-based project to bring aid to Syrian Refugees

United Nations intends to expand its Ethereum associated project to bring aid to Syrian refugees.

In 2017, the United Nations World Food Programme commenced a project called “Building Blocks” to help the Syrian refugees by utilizing the Ethereum blockchain. By January 2018, the project helped bring food to over 100,000 refugees through a cash-for-food system based on the blackchain. Now, the World Food Programme plans to expand the project to help 500,000 Syrian refugees through the project by the end of year 2019.

Building Blocks utilizes an iris scanner technology called IrisGuard to identify the Syrian refugees as they check out from the refugee camp supermarkets. Upon validating the identity, the program automatically checks the balance and records the transaction on the blockchain. Instead of using local financial networks or cash to verify balances, Building Blocks cheaply and accurately records each transaction while eliminating the possibility of corruption. So far, the system has proven to decrease the cost of transactions by 98%, allowing the United Nations to allocate its funds to other needs.

Although many people around the world remain skeptical about the usefulness and need of blockchain technology, it is evidently already transforming the world for the better. In the future, blockchain technology could be used to track the flow for more things other than food, and will continue to bring financial accounts to the billions of the people who remain unbanked.

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