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.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

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

Can indoor farming feed the world?

Franchise India 2016, returns in 14th year 

6 charts that show how Japan’s economy stacks up as it enters a new era

The first-ever climate telethon has raised $2.6 million for new forests

Four things Turkey did for business in the G20

Supporting the recovery: MEPs adopt budget priorities for 2021

The eyes of Brazil and the world turn to the largest rainforest and largest biodiversity reserve on Earth #PrayForAmazonia.

SMEs and micro firms sinking together with south Eurozone

European Union supports survivors of sexual violence in conflict

Universal access to energy is a major challenge for the Arab world. Here’s why

AI looks set to disrupt the established world order. Here’s how

UN launches new framework to strengthen fight against terrorism

UN chief welcomes DR Congo President’s promise to stand down

‘Millions facing starvation’ – Global political and business leaders on the economic impact of COVID-19

Integrating migrants and refugees into the labour market: Commission and social and economic partners relaunch cooperation

COVID-19 outbreak: Commission supports repatriation of EU citizens from cruise ship in Japan

Peace will be ‘paramount’ issue for incoming Afghan Government: UN mission chief

Christine Lagarde: the three priorities for the global economy

E-cigarettes are killing us softly with their vapor

Europe is designing satellites that ‘surf’ their way past space debris

Britain’s Brexit election is its most volatile in memory – and 3 other superlatives about the snap poll

This is what a Green New Deal for Europe could look like

ECB: Monetary policy decisions

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Refinitiv by London Stock Exchange Group, subject to conditions

Why women aren’t allowed to work

New UN report launched to help ratchet up action to combat climate crisis

A for-profit project has improved nutrition in Rwanda – is it a model that can eliminate hunger across Africa?

Germany loves a strong euro; the new Fiscal Councils can deliver despite the Greek chaos and a wider questioning of austerity

Data is the fuel of mobility. Don’t spill it for nothing

Protecting European consumers: Safety Gate efficiently helps take dangerous COVID-19 products off the market

This surgeon runs a makeshift hospital for over 200,000 people

Trade Barriers Report: EU continues to open up markets outside Europe in midst of rising protectionism

Will Europe be a different place this Monday?

As Alan Turing makes the £50 note, how do countries design their currencies?

Myanmar companies bankroll ‘brutal operations’ of military, independent UN experts claim in new report

The European Sting Cookie Policy

May led Britain to chaos, now looks for way out with unpredictable DUP

Coronavirus: Commission boosts budget for repatriation flights and rescEU stockpile

In Sweden you can roam anywhere you like, without the landowner’s permission

This incredibly detailed map of Africa could help aid and development

These 5 start-ups are shaping the future of Africa’s cities

Why rich countries are seeing more poverty

Globalization 4.0 will help us tackle climate change. Here’s how

G20 LIVE: “Our response needs to be robust…otherwise we will only find the fire we are trying to put out”, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon just lit up G20 in Antalya Turkey

EU elections 2019: Rise of nationalist trends and populism in Europe challenges the EU edifice

The Bank of China at European Business Summit 2015

Industrial producer prices on free fall and stagnant output

At this Italian bookshop, children swap their recycling for something to read

EU: 13 major banks may pay fines 10% of worldwide turnover

Devastating storms like Hurricane Florence ‘unusual this far north’: UN weather agency

Globalization 4.0 must provide for the poorest, or it risks causing chaos for everyone

Consumer product quality: MEPs take aim at dual standards

Violence in North and West Africa increasingly targeting civilian and border areas – OECD/SWAC

OECD’s Gurría calls for overhaul of economic thinking to address global challenges

Brexit: reciprocal visa-free access for EU and UK nationals

Bankers don’t go to jail because they are more equal than us all

A Sting Exclusive: “China is Making Good Stories not Bad Ones”, Ambassador Yang highlights from Brussels

JADE @ European Business Summit 2014: Youth Unemployment – a drive to Entrepreneurship

Venice will now start charging tourists an entrance fee

This start-up is making a palm oil alternative from used coffee grounds

More Stings?

Advertising

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