IOM and WFP share biometric data to improve efficiency of aid in South Sudan
An exchange of biometric information between the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has been completed to update the profiles of tens of thousand of people receiving aid in South Sudan.
The information sharing, which is the first of its kind, according to Africa News, was completed under an agreement signed in 2018, and sees information from IOM’s BRaVE and WFP’s SCOPE systems integrated. The synchronization is intended to improve the efficiency of aid delivery to people in the Upper Nile and Jonglei regions, and to cut down on the need for manual data collection.
“As humanitarian needs continue to rise in South Sudan, outstripping available resources, innovative approaches are urgently required to help us meet needs,” says WFP Country Director for South Sudan Ronald Sibanda. “The data sharing initiative with IOM will not only help us provide assistance better by cutting duplication and redundant processes but helps us track population movements in case of further displacement.”
WFP has registered one million people in the region with SCOPE for food and cash aid programs secured with fingerprint authentication. The agency intends to register 5 million by 2020. Both SCOPE and BRaVE were upgraded to enable interoperability and ensure the accuracy of beneficiary data, according to the report.
“The successful development of interoperability between SCOPE and BRaVe for data exchange of beneficiary information is a remarkable achievement in harmonizing beneficiaries’ personnel data management and improving the efficiency of aid delivery for humanitarian response since WFP is the largest food assistance provider and IOM is the key data provider through the DTMprogrammes,” said Jean-Philippe Chauzy, IOM South Sudan Chief of Mission.
UNHCR recently reported that it has collected biometrics from 7.2 million refugees, but critics have expressed concern about the compatibility of digital biometric records with human rights.