The UN Refugee Agency United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has turned to Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency to help internally displaced refugees and other war-affected people in Ukraine.
The UNHCR, a UN body tasked with assisting and protecting refugees, is going to use the blockchain to distribute humanitarian aid by disbursing money to Ukrainians affected by the continuing Russian invasion.
The programme is currently being tested in Kyiv, Lviv, and Vinnytsia, the three Ukrainian cities where many people fled after Russian missile attacks destroyed their homes or sought refuge for their families. The UNHCR is in charge of determining the eligibility of recipients and allocating relief aid.
The program requires the users to install Vibrant, a Stellar-based non-custodial mobile digital wallet that offers a safe location to store and manage their funds.
The recipients then have the option of converting the received USDC to their local currency, U.S. dollars, or euros, and withdrawing their money from one of the hundreds of thousands of MoneyGram sites across the world.The programme will use Stellar Aid Assist, a Blockchain-based product that enables users to send money promptly and securely on the blockchain, in conjunction with United Nations International Computing Centre (UNICC), which serves as a technical solution provider to the project.
This experimental project, which uses a digital wallet to provide humanitarian aid, could be a lifeline for fleeing Ukrainians, especially those whose banks are inaccessible.
According to Oleksandr Bornyakov, deputy minister of Ukraine's Ministry of Digital Transformation, "the initiative itself is a striking illustration of how blockchain has the ability to reform and revolutionise the way humanitarian funding are given."
The humanitarian aid is being distributed with the aim to help them cover basic needs like accommodation, food, health care and heating during winter.
Denelle Dixon, CEO of the Stellar Development Foundation, said that by doing this, money is reaching persons in need "immediately, transparently, and without the need for bank accounts or credit or debit cards."
The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) also announced that it was working on another initiative to create an electric version of Ukraine's national currency hryvnia, to help the people of Ukraine have more control over their finances.
In a statement, Dixon claimed that the Stellar Development Foundation and UNHCR were "realising the promise of blockchain" and "pioneering a new future for the delivery of billions of dollars in aid provided annually."