Here are three ways blockchain can change refugees’ lives

UNOPS Blockchain 2018

(UN Blockchain 2018)

This article is brought to you thanks to the strategic cooperation of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Ahmad Sufian Bayram, Middle East and Africa Regional Manager, Techstars

Blockchain has the potential to disrupt a large number of industries and change the lives of many. Its technology could help millions of refugees, by solving some of the most critical problems they face.

Here are three issues blockchain could tackle:

1. Documentation

When refugees are forced to abandon their homes, many leave behind important documents such as birth certificates, marriage licences, passports and ID cards. These are nearly impossible to retrieve after leaving the country, assuming they have not already been destroyed. Seventy percent of Syrian refugees lack basic identification and property ownership documents, NRC research found.

Blockchain solution:

The blockchain can host and transact unlimited amounts of valued assets through its publicly distributed ledger. Among these valuable building blocks is data that cannot be forged. Identities verified on the blockchain cannot be faked, and are time-stamped and public.

Host governments and support organizations could start issuing digitally-authenticated identification documents based on the blockchain. Refugees could use these documents to prove their identity and that of their families, open bank accounts, sign contracts or apply to university.

Bitnation is a blockchain startup helping refugees to obtain digital ID documents, which host governments can use to verify their identity. To build trust in the blockchain identity, the service verifies a person’s multiple social media accounts and links them to their social security number, passport and other documents.

2. Hunger

There are nearly 22.5 million refugees who need daily support from NGOs and international organizations, according to UNHCR. But these organizations face many of their own challenges while distributing aid.

They need to keep track of all transactions made in shops and marketplaces to define and approve purchases, in order to guarantee proper use of funds and avoid mismanagement.

Blockchain solution:

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has directed resources to thousands of Syrian refugees in one of the largest-ever implementations of the Ethereum blockchain for a charitable cause. It gave refugees cryptocurrency-based vouchers that could be redeemed in participating markets, which sped up transactions while lowering the chance of fraud or data mismanagement.

The codes of cryptographically unique coupons representing an undisclosed number of Jordanian dinars will be sent to dozens of shops in five refugee camps across the nation. Using eye-scanning hardware to verify the user’s identity, multiple cashiers at each of the shops will then use blockchain technology to redeem the vouchers at the point of checkout.

3. Work

Only one in eight Syrian refugees who arrived in Germany during the 2016 migrant influx last year is now employed, revealed a study published in 2016 by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, and the IAB and DIW research institutes.

Several challenges prevent refugees from integrating into the labour market, such as learning the local language and acquiring new skills. These issues aside, many refugees are still in the process of having their asylum applications assessed, years after arrival, and therefore have limited access to work.

Blockchain solution

As a distributed public ledger capable of recording transactions securely, blockchain offers enhanced transparency and collaboration between governments, businesses and citizens. Valuable information can be shared widely, with genuine transparency, and transactions can be verified in almost real time.

Furthermore, blockchain’s smart contracts can automatically carry out certain functions, if predefined conditions have been met. Governments could, for example, create “blockchain work permits” for refugees. These would enable refugees to deal with employers or businesses directly, even for small tasks, and set up real-time tax payments when they receive income.

In conclusion, blockchain offers governments and businesses the opportunity to understand refugees better and provide tangible solutions that benefit everyone. Supporting blockchain start-ups is a step towards solving one of the most prominent crises of our time.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Parlamentarians to “break up” with reality in the Google antitrust case

EU’s guidelines on net neutrality see the light although grey areas do remain

The US banks drive the developing world to a catastrophe

“Health and environment first of all”, EU says with forced optimism after 7th round of TTIP talks

Germany readies to pay for the Brexit gap in EU finance

China Unlimited Special Report: The trip to China

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: UNFCCC Secretariat Launches Forest Information Hub

Time to be welcome: Youth work and integration of young refugees

EU to negotiate an FTA with Japan

Ukrainian civil war: Is this the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

Turkey to let EU alone struggle with the migrant crisis while enhancing its economic ties with Russia instead?

IQ scores have been falling for decades, new study finds

“As German Chancellor I want to be able to cope with the merger of the real and digital economy”, Angela Merkel from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

EU-Turkey relations: Will Turkey manage to revive the EU accession process talks?

Armenia should take vigorous measures against entrenched corruption

Virtual Doctor: a core part of modern healthcare?

‘Jerusalem is not for sale’ Palestinian President Abbas tells world leaders at UN Assembly

G20 LIVE: G20 Leaders’ Communiqué Antalya Summit, 15-16 November 2015

Eurozone: Inflation plunge to 0.4% in July may trigger cataclysmic developments

World response to AIDS epidemic at a ‘critical juncture’

On International Youth Day the European Youth Forum calls for true youth participation

Time is running out to protect Africa’s forests

EU Commission: Growth first then fiscal consolidation

Plastic Oceans: MEPs back EU ban on polluting throwaway plastics by 2021

Chinese economy to raise speed and help the world grow

Why social working cultures are happier and more productive

Remembering Kofi Annan

Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14

EU to increase spending and improve delivery of education in emergencies and protracted crises

An alternative view of Globalization 4.0, and how to get there

UN says ‘many humanitarian achievements’, one year after ouster of ISIL from Mosul

The movement of anti-vaccers: taking humanity back 200 years

Apple’s tax avoidance scheme remains as creative as their new iPhone

Europe turns out more jobs this summer

Politics still matter in the US but not in Europe

Mali: Presidential elections critical to consolidate democracy, says UN peacekeeping chief

Youth and Participation: are the people rising up in Spain? 


Legal Manager – 2050

How to provide health education and thus create better health systems

Road injuries leading cause of death for the young, despite safety gains: UN report

UN condemns ‘heinous’ suicide attack on education centre in Afghanistan

The shrinking Arctic ice protects us all. It’s time to act

New skills needed for medical students in Industry 4.0

Transition between education and employment: how the internship culture is threatening the foundations of our education

Eurozone: Retail sales and inflation point to recession

Why do medical curricula shouldn’t neglect the Sustainable Development Goals

Why medicine is relevant to the battle against climate change

Fisheries: Commission proposes measures to conserve stocks of deep-sea species in the North-East Atlantic

Syria: Guterres concerned over reported attacks in Idlib, calls for ‘full investigation’

Discovering Europe: Free EU rail pass for 18 year olds

Want a fairer society? This economist says he has the answer

The banks first to benefit from the new euro trillion ECB plans to print

These European countries produce the most plastic waste per person

Storms and snow in Lebanon worsen plight for Syrian refugees

Better protection against non-cash payment fraud

Can big events really go plastic-free? A water capsule made from seaweed may be the answer

‘Collective amnesia’ over causes of global financial crash – human rights expert

Superbugs: MEPs advocate further measures to curb use of antimicrobials

Why are the Balkans’ political leaders meeting in Geneva this week?

UN chief appoints Luis Alfonso de Alba as Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s