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Building Blocks: Social Startup that Helps Refugees 🙇🏽‍♂️

This is a blockchain-based company aimed at an important problem of refugees. It enables them to transfer and receive money without direct cooperation with banks. Building Blocks provides all data about various financial transactions so you can always be aware of who, when and, how much money was received from.

The startup was founded by the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). It helps people from all the UN member countries who have been caught up in natural disasters and emergencies. Particularly, there are those who have suffered from floods, earthquakes, droughts, hurricanes, crop failures, civil wars, and international conflicts.

Their main goal is to bring people back to normal life by taking care of their physical and mental health. They provide various kinds of assistance: physical, psychological, but most often financial. Of course, the organization does not help individuals — it operates only in mass disasters. Overall, the company has helped over 100 million people across the globe, including Ukraine.

History

Once WFP noticed the inefficiency of using funds sent to refugees. According to traditional financial transactions, money passes through the bank or remains in it if a person has not yet used it.

For the countries where the refugees were or where they came from, this option was risky. Banks could go bankrupt and shut down at any time, or their commission for money transfers was too large.

Therefore, they decided to look for an alternative that would make it possible to do without direct banking services and make financial processes more convenient, fast, and secure.

At the beginning of 2017, the blockchain project began to be tested on a group of 100 Pakistanis. In general, everything went fine and soon 10,000 people received their financial assistance. In 2018, the amount of donations hit $1,7 billion.

Competitors

The main competitors of the project are banks from different countries. But the problem of many regions is the lack of a stable economy, high unemployment rate, and shortage of qualified specialists.

All this results in a poor financial system and poses a lot of inconveniences — from the long response of support services to the lack of transparency of financial transactions. In fact, there are no guarantees whether the bank's client will receive their money at all.

Benefit

Building Blocks ensures that the data for each individual is saved and cannot be deleted or changed. It also enables refugees to check card transactions in real time and feel safe about their money.
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