MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: UN’s World Food Programme Uses Ethereum Blockchain, Retina Scans to Support 10,000 Syrian Refugees

The United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) is helping Syrian refugees in Jordan’s Azraq camp buy food from supermarkets inside the camp utilizing blockchain technology from Switzerland’s Ethereum Foundation. The identity of each purchaser is established using an eye scan, and the blockchain system is used to record each transaction. “Through blockchain, we aim to cut payment costs, better protect beneficiary data, control financial risks, and respond more rapidly in the wake of emergencies,” according to WFP’s Director of Innovation and Change Management, Robert Opp.

WFP, whose mission is to fight hunger worldwide, serves around 80 million people in 80 countries as of 2017. Ethereum is a computing platform based on open-source blockchain technology that facilitate exchanges of funds and documentation of contracts.

By Sascha Strobl, Research Associate

Sources and Additional Resources:

UN’s WFP press release:
https://www.wfp.org/news/news-release/blockchain-against-hunger-harnessing-technology-support-syrian-refugees

World Food Programme:
http://www.wfp.org

Ethereum:
https://www.ethereum.org

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