UN Food Program Uses Blockchain

Announcements, Blockchain | March 25, 2017 By:

The World Food Program (WFP), the food assistance arm of the United Nations, is testing how blockchain can empower humanitarian organizations to quickly and safely send aid to undeveloped nations.

“Blockchain technology, most famously associated with the crypto-currency bitcoin, offers unique opportunities for humanitarian agencies to provide the best-possible assistance to vulnerable people around the world,” the WFP said.

In a project using the ethereum blockchain, the WFP is changing its approach to feeding the hungry. Instead of just giving food, the WFP has opened up a cash assistance program called ‘Building Blocks’.

“The first, successful test at field level of WFP’s blockchain innovation  was carried out in January deep in the heart of Sindh province, Pakistan. As vulnerable families received WFP food and cash assistance, the transactions were authenticated and recorded on a public blockchain through a smartphone interface. Transaction reports generated were then used to match the disbursements with entitlements,” said a WFP statement.

“Blockchain can revolutionize the way WFP delivers assistance to vulnerable families across the globe. It can bring us closer to the people we serve and allow us to respond much faster,” said Farman Ali, from the WFP Karachi provincial office.

According to the WFP, the pilot was a successful one, setting the stage for what is expected to be a “full-scale pilot.”