Humanitarian aid has a specific goal in most cases – ongoing support and an improvement in the quality of life of those in need.
Blockchain use has proven to be increasingly successful during the last few years amongst charities and NGOs who provide ongoing humanitarian aid. The United Nations leads the way in adopting blockchain usage. With the elimination of the need for a trusted third party to verify transactions, the United Nations World Food Program has successfully used blockchain technology for several years to provide transparency in the donation process. As funds are received and goods and services are provided, individual and corporate donors are able to feel comfortable knowing that their donations will reach the intended target with less administrative and processing costs siphoning off much-needed funds. A further safety net is created with the tracking that is offered by the constant availability of blockchain records. Food, medical supplies, and other essential aspects of support can now be tracked from warehouses to delivery.
The World Food Program (WFP) has created ongoing relationships within countries that have an established base of operations. In locations where they are assured of a functioning local market, the WFP has begun to offer cash transfers to recipients more frequently. This allows the beneficiaries to purchase the goods and services that they actually need. The flow-on effect from these individual purchases is that local businesses are supported.
Entrenched patterns of behaviour in the countries that are receiving aid are also a significant set of obstacles for humanitarian relief. Government corruption is rampant in some of the neediest countries involved in relief efforts. If food, general care products, medical supplies, and housing supplies never fully reach the intended targets due to outright theft or redirection, there is very little that an honest charity can do to combat that mindset.
Use of the blockchain can add transparency of donations, with peer to peer donation transmission. The SDR can be used by mainstream organisations to send funds directly to the areas of need, financing the aid relief workers and ultimately the development of the community and ecosystem. Here the SDR multi-national unit of account can also be used as a proxy settlement method for international organisations providing philanthropical services.
Tokenising Natural Resources
One method of improving the economic capacities of communities is allowing them to collateralize their natural resources, property or human capacity to strengthen their ability for trade. Here, asset backed tokens can be used to peg the natural resources of such countries to a value transmission vehicle for communities to swap ownership for necessary goods and services. Through being recorded on a blockchain, such ownership rights are immutable, traceable and trustless. In addition, such asset backed tokens can be offered on traditional markets or even paired with the SDR for efficient global pricing.
Establishing SDR Settlements
It is important to recognise the the difficulty with settlements does not come from the communities from which the needs originate, but rather the corporations which produce goods, services and equipment. In areas of humanitarian relief, SDR settlement arrangements can be deployed to facilitate the import and distribution of special goods (medicine, food, sanitation, education, machinery, etc) which can give communities the facilities to become self sufficient. Producers of such special goods then can convert the SDR received into their local currency without the risk of significant foreign exchange exposure.
Fostering Economic Growth
The introduction of the SDR to humanitarian aid can significantly solve the economic limitation of major charitable organisations, including corporations which are restricted to servicing such endeavours. Ultimately, the settlement capacity of SDR can foster strong economic growth in the key areas where humanitarian relief services and aid are required the most.