The use of the Stellar blockchain will make it easier for the UNHCR to send USDC to Ukrainians in need. Who said crypto was a useless invention?
On December 15, the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) announced its partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to pilot a digital cash disbursement system powered by Stellar to send money to Ukrainians in need.
UNHCR is the United Nations agency tasked with protecting refugees and those displaced by persecution or political conflict.
Stellar will focus on instantly delivering the UN’s aid via the “Stellar Aid Assist” pilot project. It partnered with Circle, MoneyGram International, and the wallet app Vibrant to achieve that goal.
According to the project’s website, Stellar Aid Assist is already being used “to provide qualified Ukrainians” with financial assistance through the stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) directly sent to their phones.
“Eligible Ukrainians can register with a participating relief organization to receive digital relief aid through the Vibrant wallet and get the funds in cash at participating MoneyGram locations.”
Stellar Aid And The UN Provide Assistance to Ukrainians
Thanks to Stellar and Vibrant, the UN can send money faster and cheaper than legacy channels. Also, as the Ukrainian banking infrastructure suffers with the war, the number of unbanked and underbanked people increases. A solution that does not rely on banks is of the utmost importance in this scenario.
These digitally delivered cash grants aim to provide an alternative to handling fiat money at a time when it may be difficult or dangerous to store or move physical notes.
Thanks to the partnership with MoneyGram, Ukrainian citizens will be able to receive their assistance in effect quickly “even if (they) don’t have a bank account or a credit or debit card.” But Ukrainians will be able to exchange their stablecoin for fiat in any MoneyGram should they decide to do so.
Stellar And The IRC Helped 33 People in December
So far in December, Stellar and the International Rescue Committee (IRC), an NGO created to help people persecuted for political, religious, or ethnic reasons, have helped 33 of the 100 people they hope to reach before the end of the year.
One of the advantages of using Stellar Aid Assist to send money to people in need is that the entire sending process can be tracked immediately, preventing any theft or diversion of funds and offering greater transparency to all donors.
Karolina Lindholm Billing, UNHCR Representative to Ukraine, said that she was very pleased that both organizations chose Ukraine to test the Stellar Aid Assist “so it can benefit many thousands more people in need of assistance as a result of the war,”
David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) said that this partnership with Stellar has enabled it to offer new ways for Ukrainians to “receive much-needed cash assistance” by taking advantage of blockchain technology.
Denelle Dixon, the CEO and Executive Director of Stellar Development Foundation (SDF), said the foundation was proud to collaborate with the IRC to pioneer the delivery of humanitarian aid through Stellar Aid Assist.