July 10, 2017 -
The United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR) is using IrisGuard’s private Ethereum blockchain technology to enable streamlined payment services for thousands of Syrian refugees seeking humanitarian aid, according to a report by ETH News.
After refugees are registered through UNHCR, other humanitarian organizations including the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) can further assist them through resettlement programs, international remittance, healthcare services and microfinance to promote a better livelihood and advancement.
IrisGuard’s EyePay system has already serviced over 10,000 refugees in Jordan using iris recognition technology (IRT), which allows for food purchases to be settled on the blockchain.
The blockchain’s robust encryption system ensures that all transactions are secured and are executed without using a card, pin, username, password, ID, or mobile device.
As a result, the platform is ideal for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and aid organizations, as the IRT eliminates any logistical and monetary barriers related to integrating card and smartphone issuance for every refugee.
The system also removes the possibility of fraudulent transactions and embezzlement of funds.
“The UNHCR has achieved financial inclusion for unbanked refugees and enabled them to efficiently receive international donor cash assistance directly on unattended bank ATM’s and food at checkout counters in supermarkets and nonfood items in camps; all while refugees are either unable or not allowed to open a bank account by law,” IrisGuard said in a statement.
Over the past few years, several aid programs have been investigated by governments who have focused on providing humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees.
The United States Government Accountability Office (GOA) released a report last year that stated that US agencies could improve on fraud oversight.
IrisGuard solutions could potentially help to combat issues of fraud and banking the unbanked.
“IrisGuard is proud of its partnerships with UNHCR, WFP, UNICEF, IOM and all UN agencies and NGO’s trying to make a sustainable difference in the lives of impoverished, undocumented and defenseless refugees,” Imad Malhas, founder and CEO of IrisGuard Inc., said. “We hope to continue doing our part in realizing a fair and dignified distribution system for the world’s unbanked populations.”
IrisGuard recently released EyeHood, its portable iris camera that is ideally suited for outdoor enrollment and recognition.