As a means of addressing the challenge of providing food assistance to over 80 million hungry people worldwide, WFP is taking early steps to harness blockchain technology to be able to deliver assistance more effectively. Building Blocks aims to make WFP’s growing cash-based transfer operations faster, cheaper, and more secure. Full implementation of the technology promises significant cost savings to WFP, and donors alike, potentially totalling millions of dollars per annum. By passing on cost savings, integrating retail innovations such as biometric scanning and mitigating the risk of identity fraud or data mismanagement, WFP could also ensure more people receive crucial food assistance.
With the support of the Innovation Accelerator in 2016, Building Blocks established an early, but robust concept suitable for prototyping in a field environment. Utilising a private fork of the Ethereum blockchain, Building Blocks ran a field simulation in January 2017 that tested the technical viability and usability of blockchain. With positive results, the project moved into full-development.
Building Blocks | WFP Innovation
WFP built the Building Blocks system with the support of Datarella and Parity. For the pilot in Jordan, we integrated with the existing biometric authentication technology IrisGuard, which allows refugees to