Blockchain, the disruptive technology that has shaken businesses to the core has found its application in humanitarian response. The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has partnered with a blockchain-based startup, Devery.io to help it track and safely deliver food assistance to 400,000 school children in Tunisia.
The WFP is changing its approach on how it feeds the hungry. It has recognized the value of blockchain in aiding organizations deliver humanitarian assistance fast and safely to people that need it most. By tracking the quality of meals provided to school children in Tunisia, the United Nations blockchain project is trying to utilize Ethereum blockchain to improve the government-operated meal program. The initiative is currently managed by the UN’s World Food Program to ensure it is implemented appropriately and schools have an adequate food supply for students.
In order to accomplish this, the WFP is rolling out two programs that will be running concurrently; food delivery and a cash assistance program dubbed Building Blocks. The Building Blocks program aims at reducing costs and risks associated with cash-based remittances.
Over the years, WFP has noted an influx in the number cash transfers from its coffers, but such increases do not come without risks. It is for this reason that the organization has resorted to blockchain as a cheaper and less risky option to getting cash assistance they need without compromising transparency and security. Consequently, WFP is leveraging blockchain to track its humanitarian assistance by ensuring that money and food are received by the exact people who need them. With blockchain, the organization can commission food delivery, see where it is going and verify how families spend the funds, which are the key measures of the success of the program.
Announcing the commencement of the partnership, the United Nations World Food Program Representative and Head of Country Office for the Republic of Tunisia, Maria Lukyanova said:
“This project is allowing us to explore how supporting innovation, through the introduction of solutions based on blockchain technology, can contribute to strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of the Tunisian national school meals programme”.
Devery.io, the company tasked with implementing the United Nations blockchain-based tracking system for the school meal program, is one of the leading global blockchain startups known to offer comprehensive product verification services to businesses and organizations. As well as implementing a food delivery tracking system, Devery.io will also train personnel on the behalf of WFP to utilize and maintain the technology for future use. Devery’s founder and CEO, Andrew Rasheed, while confirming the news, said the implementation of the program “will impact the lives of many to come”.
Having realized the benefits that blockchain can provide, the WFP is pursuing blockchain use cases in its efforts to enhance the delivery of food assistance to hungry families across the globe. The organization expects to use the technology developed for this program to assist with the delivery of food in other missions around the world.