When disaster strikes, getting aid to those who need it, quickly, is a priority. In recent years, Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) has increasingly become the chosen method of aid delivery within the humanitarian sector. A CVA program provisions the transfer of cash or vouchers directly to individuals or households within a community to spend at their discretion, rather than giving the money to governments or other state actors.
Disaster aid is broken.
In 2016 alone, it’s estimated that $2.8bn in humanitarian aid was disbursed through cash and vouchers (Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2018; p6). However, the CVA model can be expensive, inefficient and opaque; often a long process, requiring many volunteer hours of administrative work during a time-critical period.
In collaboration with Oxfam and Sempo, I lead ConsenSys’s efforts in piloting the first crypto-backed cash aid program in the world as a Solutions Architect and Senior Consultant. The solution leveraged NFC cards to empower beneficiaries to transact on their own terms with local vendors.
Accelerating humanitarian aid one pilot at a time.
Oxfam in Vanuatu has implemented various modalities of cash and voucher programmes. In their experience; Sempo’s solution was found to be more effective than cash, cheques, or vouchers in the following ways:
- Faster programme onboarding
- Higher transparency to permissioned users
- Reduced intermediaries
- Increased cost efficiencies
- Simplified human interface
As the program moves forward, our team is continuing to advise on pilot expansion across the Asia Pacific region. If you’d like to learn more about the program, you can download our case study here.
“By using vouchers backed by stablecoins we create something that grows organically. It’s a system that allows us to create a thriving ecosystem of vendors and a community – [a system that] can really take on a life of its own.”Nick WilliamsCo-founder of SEMPO