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 that they need it
UNHCR is the United Nations agency responsible for protecting refugees and those displaced by persecution or political conflict.
Stellar will focus on instantly delivering UN aid through the “Stellar Aid Assist” pilot project. It partnered with Circle, MoneyGram International and wallet app Vibrant to achieve this goal.
According to the project’s website, Stellar Aid Assist is already being used “to provide qualifying Ukrainians” with financial assistance using the stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) sent directly to their phones.
“Eligible Ukrainians can register with a participating relief organization to receive digital aid through the Vibrant Wallet and get the funds in cash at participating MoneyGram locations.”
Stellar Aid and the UN are providing assistance to the Ukrainians
Thanks to Stellar and Vibrant, the UN can send money faster and cheaper than legacy channels. Also, as Ukraine’s banking infrastructure suffers from the war, the number of unbanked and underbanked people is increasing. A solution that does not depend on banks is of utmost importance in this scenario.
These digitally delivered cash grants aim to provide an alternative to handling fiat money at a time when it can 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 quickly “even if (they don’t) have a bank account or a credit or debit card.” But Ukrainians will be able to exchange their stable currency for fiat at any MoneyGram if they choose to do so.
Stellar and the IRC helped 33 people in December
Until the month of 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 ‘year.
One of the benefits 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 providing greater transparency to all donors.
Karolina Lindholm Billing, UNHCR’s representative in Ukraine, said she was very pleased that both organizations chose Ukraine to test Star Aid Assistance “so that it can benefit thousands more people who need help as result of the war”.
Just announced: @RESCUEorg i @StellarOrg announced a first-of-its-kind blockchain-powered aid disbursement system available in Ukraine today. #StellarIRLhttps://t.co/310U1GBqt2
— Stellar (@StellarOrg) December 15, 2022
David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) said this partnership with Stellar has enabled it to provide new ways for Ukrainians to “receive much-needed cash assistance” by leveraging blockchain technology.
Denelle Dixon, CEO and Executive Director of the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF), said the foundation was proud to partner with the IRC to pioneer the delivery of humanitarian aid through Stellar Aid Assist.
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