UN and IrisGuard to use ethereum with refugee payments
07 July 2017 12:14 GMT

The UN and biometrics firm IrisGuard are using a blockchain-powered cryptocurrency with biometrics to fund refugee welfare payments.

IrisGuard noted in a statement this week that the EyePay system, has serviced over 10,000 refugees in Jordan using iris recognition technology (IRT) that allows for food purchases to be settled on the blockchain.

All transactions are secure due to the blockchain’s robust encryption system and are executed without the need for a card, pin, username, password, ID, or mobile device. This renders the platform attractive to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and aid organizations, as the IRT eradicates the logistical and monetary challenges that would accompany integrating card and smartphone issuance for every refugee.

The system also removes the possibility of fraudulent transactions and embezzlement of funds. Over the past few years, a number of aid programs have come under investigation by governments who have placed humanitarian aid as a core focus of Syria-related policies. In 2016, the United States Government Accountability Office (GOA) released a report that highlighted fraud oversight as an area that US agencies could improve on.

Conversely, IrisGuard could potentially be the solution to the problems of fraud and banking the unbanked. Imad Malhas, founder and CEO of IrisGuard Inc., believes the platform is the way of the future for the world’s unbanked and displaced populations.

“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. We hope to continue doing our part in realizing a fair and dignified distribution system for the world’s unbanked populations.”