Belgium boost funding for WFP’s latest blockchain and drone innovations
The Government of Belgium has contributed €2 million to support the World Food Programme’s innovative drone and blockchain solutions.
Alexander De Croo, Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation explained the contribution:
“This year, more than 128 million people across the world will need humanitarian assistance and protection. This is triple the number of three years ago. Only by finding better ways to deliver aid more efficiently will we close the gap between requirements and aid delivery on the ground. Belgium lauds the efforts of WFP to come up with innovative solutions to save more lives and help more people in need.
WFP hopes to increase its use of drones to prepare for and respond to emergencies. The drones will be used for damage analysis, topography analysis, mapping and connectivity.
Similarly, the funding will support WFP’s blockchain projects.
Currently, WFP piloted a project in Jordan’s refugee camps that uses blockchain to allocate food vouchers.
The ‘Building Blocks’ project allowed refugees to cash in their vouchers using a retina scanner and is saving development agencies money as the process is more efficient.
The use of blockchain in its processes will allow the WFP to improve the efficiency, security and transparency of its cash transfer programmes.
The pilot project was a huge success and over 330,000 transactions for 100,000 refugees were processed.
Thanks to Belgium’s support the WFP will now deploy Building Blocks project by mid-year for all Syrian refugees residing in refugee camps in Jordan.
Rehan Asad, Chief of Staff for WFP added:
“The challenge of reaching Zero Hunger by 2030 is immense. Humanitarians must relentlessly look for ways to harness the most promising digital technologies in the service of the world’s most vulnerable people. We are grateful to committed partners such as Belgium for helping us do just that”
Belgium is planning to invest €20 million this year in humanitarian aid innovations.
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Image credit: World Food Programme