TechInPacific – The UnBlocked Cash Project is revolutionizing the way humanitarian aids are distributed across affected countries.
Using Vanuatu as a starting point, the project, born out of Oxfam multiple partnerships with 17 local and international partners will cut 90% of delivery time, aid distribution cost to 75% without compromising, and instead, improving the transparency and accountability of each step through the Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) solution.
“We are changing the existing approach of delivering aid through automating and tracking payments using a platform to convene NGOs regardless of their experience with cash transfers”, said Sandra Uwantege Hart, Oxfam’s Cash & Livelihoods Lead in the Pacific as the project designer.
“The platform allows for seamless coordination of resources, which in many places, like in Vanuatu, remain untapped.
“Now we are able to expand our cash assistance capabilities with multiple partners including among others the Vanuatu Red Cross, World Vision, ADRA, Save the Children, Vanuatu Business Resilience Council, and the Government of Vanuatu.”
The inauguration of 35,000 registered beneficiaries to receive the aid took place on Wednesday (28/10), with Her Excellency Sarah deZoeten, Australia’s High Commissioner to Vanuatu commented,
“We are very pleased to be supporting such an innovative and important program in this time of double disaster with COVID-19 and TC Harold. It is targeting the most vulnerable and at the same time supporting local businesses and the economy.”
The blockchain-based solution is an oasis for the Pacific region’s known hurdles with extreme weathers and the limiting financial infrastructure.
Papua New Guinea will soon follow Vanuatu’s footsteps, followed by the Solomon Islands this year.
The solution will utilize beneficiaries’ smartphone apps to use the e-voucher tap-and-pay cards and the online platform for monitoring in and out transactions by Oxfam and other NGOs.
Oxfam in Vanuatu partners for the Un-Blocked Cash TC Harold and Covid-19 response are ADRA Vanuatu, Barrett & Partners, Churches of Christ, Red Cross Society Vanuatu, Sanma, Shefa, Tafea Province, Department of Local Authorities, Save the Children Vanuatu, Vanuatu Business Resilience Council, Vanuatu Disability Promotion & Advocacy Association, Vanuatu Christian Council, Vanuatu Society for People With Disabilities, View PX, Wanfuteng Bank, World Vision Vanuatu.