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Digital currency / digital wallet Ukraine use case

When ICT is to impact external users, the digital transformation journey is very different.

How can technology help when humanitarian cash-based interventions are needed, such as providing financial assistance to people forced to flee their homes due to conflicts, violence, human rights violation, etc.?

Building on the increased acceptance of contactless mobile money and digital payment options during Covid-19, UNHCR, in partnership with non-profit and private organizations, developed a financial ecosystem leveraging blockchain to enable real-time cash assistance.

Blockchain works as a distributed ledger maintaining a permanent and tamper-proof record of transactional data across a network of connected computer systems. Each computer in the distributed network keeps a copy of the ledger to prevent a single point of failure, and all copies are updated and validated simultaneously. The complete history of past transactions means the data can be tracked with full transparency.

The solution supports digital wallet functionality with cash-out options in fiat currency or transfer to an existing bank account. It is being used to distribute cash to Ukrainian refugees.

This use case demonstrates UNHCR’s commitment to stay relevant – not just receiving money from donors and giving it where it is needed, as usual.

A high-level overview of this development is available here, https://go.unu.edu/GrPN4.