Ireland-based charity organization Oxfam Ireland has received a grant of €1 million (appr. $1.124 million) from the European Commission to develop a blockchain-based pilot project that would provide aid using the tech.
According to a Friday report by local media outlet Irish Times, the project named “UnBlocked Cash” would see Oxfam partner with French startup, Sempo, to use the blockchain technology to deliver aid to victims of global disasters efficiently.
Commenting on the development, Communications Coordinator at Oxfam Ireland, Caroline Reid said:
The UnBlocked Cash innovation places disaster-affected people and their community at the center of decision-making related to their cash-based entitlements and addresses the global challenge of linking institutions and individuals directly.
Reid added that the initiative allows the participation of both small and large vendors and recipients to collaborate in a “community-based economic recovery ecosystem” that would eventually boost different segments of world economies.
As per the report, the initiative is designed in a way whereby beneficiaries of the program gets smart voucher which can be used to purchase goods from local vendors.
More recipients to be added
The project which is built on the Ethereum blockchain is already in its second phase trial in Vanuatu and has so far onboarded more than 5,000 recipients and 100 local vendors.
Since the project’s first phase testing was rolled out, the delivery time and cost of providing aid has reduced significantly by 96% and 60%, respectively, the report added.
With the grant, Oxfam noted that the program would be extended to other major regions across the Pacific and possibly in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean, thus exploring how the initiative can alleviate the suffering of vulnerable groups.
Oxfam Ireland is one of the six beneficiaries of the European Innovation Council (EIC) €5 million (roughly $5.6 million) Prize on Blockchains for Social Good.
The exercise saw the council receive 176 applications from different blockchain-related firms, while tasking participants to develop scalable, transparent, and high-impact blockchain solutions that would be utilized to address societal challenges.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched a cryptocurrency trust fund to establish open-source technology for children and young people globally.