UN uses blockchain for various projects in middle east and Africa

30 Sep, 2018
by Fifi Arisandi
UN uses blockchain for various projects in middle east and Africa

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) uses blockchain in various projects for Syrian refugees in Jordan and plan to roll out a test to track food in Africa.

Following a successful cash-transfer project using Ethereum platform in Jordanian refugee camps, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) seeks to expanding the use of blockchain technology to track food supply chain in East Africa.

Through the testing, WFP expects to find out the answer to the question, quoting their director of innovation and change, Robert Opp, “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 project is related to the food delivery in East Africa, particularly to track the movement of food from Djibouti’s port to Ethiopia.

Another blockchain-related project that the organization is currently exploring is teaching Syrian refugees, particularly the women how to manage their personal data and control access to them using a blockchain platform.

This project is an extend to the successfully running Ethereum-based project, where they are required to do iris scan to confirm their identities before paying for groceries and receiving cashback at local supermarkets.

Opp claimed to have been able to reach as many as 106,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan on a monthly basis with cash benefits transfers, while managed to save about $40,000 every month on the transfer fee.

Explaining the project further to Coindesk, Opp said, “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.”

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