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United Nations Fintech for Refugees

The United Nations (UN) launched a trial to distribute funds to thousands of people in Jordan using the ethereum blockchain. Cryptographically unique coupons representing an undisclosed number of Jordanian dinars were sent to dozens of shops in five refugee camps across the nation.

Eye-scanning hardware made by London-based IrisGuard verified the identity of coupon recipients who then could redeem the entitlements at the point of checkout. In the trial completed on May 31, 2017, the platform was successfully used to record and authenticate transfers for about 10,000 individuals.

"All funds received by the refugees from WFP were specifically used to purchase food items such as olive oil, pasta and lentils….[T]he 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. Currently, [WFP] is in talks with partners in the humanitarian and private sectors who can help it with [the] goal of achieving Zero Hunger by 2030.

Keywords: Enabling Access to Resources Essential for Development, Blockchain for human rights, fintech for human rights, Digital Identification technology for human rights, United Nations, ethereum blockchain, Jordan, IrisGuard