The United Nations (UN) is considering providing humanitarian aid in crypto to those affected by the war in Ukraine. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has announced that Ukrainians will receive aid funds in USDC, which they can stack or exchange for cash via MoneyGram to meet their priority life needs like rent, food, energy, etc.
Humanitarian aid in crypto for Ukrainians
In recent months, the war between Russia and Ukraine has forced many Ukrainians to flee. These displaced persons and refugees are living in difficult conditions and depend largely on international solidarity. The UN is considering joining this solidarity campaign with Ukrainians as winter approaches. Unlike other donors, the UN aid will be paid to Ukrainians in cryptocurrency.
According to the statement from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the crypto funds will help Ukrainians who are highly affected by the war to cover their basic needs such as rent, food, medical care, heating during the winter, etc.
Payments to Ukrainians in distress will be made in stablecoin USDC whose value is backed by the U.S. dollar. To this end, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will work with the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF), the organization behind the USDC stablecoin.
Receiving the UN humanitarian funds will be quick and easy. Recipients in Ukraine will simply download and install the Vibrant wallet from which they will receive the funds. After receiving the funds, they will be able to keep their funds in USDC.
In case they need cash, they can withdraw it at any MoneyGram branch. In Ukraine MoneyGram is available in more than 4,500 locations. So no worries.
Crypto makes it easier and faster
Providing humanitarian aid in cash is an effective and preferred approach for people in need. This is because it gives them the freedom to decide for themselves which need to cover first. This freedom is further extended when the cash aid is paid in cryptocurrency UNHCR believes. Beyond the freedom, crypto offers guarantees of speed. It is therefore with enthusiasm that the UNHCR launches its crypto aid program in Ukraine. UNHCR does not exclude extending it to other states.
Around the world, UNHCR has worked for years with the technology sector, which has played a crucial role in helping us innovate to deliver assistance more quickly, because speed is essential in humanitarian action. It is also essential to provide people with a range of options for receiving assistance. I am very pleased that UNHCR and the SDF have chosen Ukraine for this launch and I look forward to expanding it beyond this pilot project.Karolina Lindholm Billing, UNHCR Representative in Ukraine
UNHCR‘s enthusiasm is shared by the Stellar Development Foundation. For the organization that manages stablecoin, the initiative shows the strengths of the blockchain. With speed and transparency, blockchain makes it possible to provide easy access to the needy, even if they do not have bank accounts.
The Ukrainian authorities also reacted positively to the news of the UNHCR. In a context where access to the banking system is disrupted by the war, the Ukrainian Minister of Digital believes that the distribution of aid in cryptocurrency is an interesting alternative.
For Ukrainians on the run and mainly for those whose banks are inaccessible, this pilot project will serve as a lifeline for their survival.Oleksandr Bornyakov, Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation.
While the European Central Bank or this Nobel Prize winner in economics believe that crypto is useless, digital currencies keep proving their usefulness. The fact that the UN, which has a long history of working with the traditional financial system, is turning to cryptocurrency reveals just how indifferent we can’t be to these assets.
I dream of a world where every citizen has total control over themselves, including their finances. I believe that Bitcoin is one of the tools that will achieve this revolution. Since 2019, I am learning about this cryptocurrency and spreading the word around.