Refugees living in a Jordanian camp are using blockchain technologies to buy food.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is harnessing the ledger system in a pilot scheme – at the Azraq camp – to help ten thousand refugees make transactions more easily at onsite supermarkets.
WFP’s Director of Innovation and Change Management, Robert Opp said: “Blockchain technology allows us to step up the fight against hunger. Through blockchain, we aim to cut payment costs, better protect beneficiary data, control financial risks, and respond more rapidly in the wake of emergencies. Using blockchain can be a qualitative leap – not only for WFP, but for the entire humanitarian community.”
Refugees make purchases by using a scan of their eye, to pick up food they are entitled to. If the pilot is successful, WFP will extend it to other areas, including “digital identity management and supply chain operations”.
WFP believes blockchain technologies can transform humanitarian efforts and make a major contribution towards its ultimate goal of eliminating hunger 2030.
The “world’s first solar energy farm in a refugee camp” is also located at Azraq.