In Jordan’s Azraq camp, 10,000 refugees are now able to pay for their food by means of entitlements recorded on a blockchain-based computing platform. This was developed by WFP as part of a pilot known as ‘Building Blocks’.
WFP is currently piloting a larger, more robust version of the blockchain system in Azraq Refugee camp in Jordan. More than 10,000 Syrian refugees redeem their WFP provided assistance on the blockchain-based system.
As a result of this pilot, WFP has a full, in-house record of every transaction that occurs at a particular retailer, ensuring greater security and privacy for refugees as sensitive data does not have to be shared with third parties such as phone companies. This allows for improved accounting and the reduction of third-party costs.
As a means of addressing the challenge of providing food assistance to over 80 million hungry people worldwide, WFP is taking early steps to harness blockchain technology to be able to deliver assistance more effectively.
Building Blocks aims to make WFP’s growing cash-based transfer operations faster, cheaper, and more secure.
Full implementation of the technology promises significant cost savings to WFP, and donors alike, potentially totalling millions of dollars per annum. By passing on cost savings, integrating retail innovations such as biometric scanning and mitigating the risk of identity fraud or data mismanagement, WFP could also ensure more people receive crucial food assistance.