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Belgium Contributes $2.4 Mln To Blockchain-based UN Project To Feed Refugees

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Belgium has contributed EUR2 million ($2.4 million) to promote innovative projects by the United Nation's World Food Program (WFP).

The money will allow the UN agency to scale up research and trials into the use of drone and blockchain-based payments to provide food to refugees.

WFP is implementing a blockchain pilot project for refugee camps in Jordan, where cash transfers through blockchain technology will make supply of food to 100,000 vulnerable Syrians more efficient and transparent.

Piloted in collaboration with other agencies, the "Building Blocks" project is delivering more for less, offering donors better value for money, WFP said in a statement.

The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) project seeks to enhance the ability of WFP and partners to prepare for topographical data collection and damage analysis to better cope with natural disasters.

Both projects, part of a wider innovation agenda, were showcased at the UN in New York Thursday.

Belgium's Minister for Development Cooperation, Alexander De Croo said it is estimated that more than 128 million people across the world will need humanitarian assistance and protection this year. This is triple the number of three years ago. "Only by finding better ways to deliver aid more efficiently will we close the gap between requirements and aid delivery on the ground," he added.

WFP is one of several U.N. agencies exploring blockchain applications to make its day-to-day operations more efficient and cost-effective. It works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters.

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