Hope for Haiti Chooses Celo and Emerging Impact as First Blockchain Partners to Deliver Digital Humanitarian Aid
The Celo Alliance for Prosperity, together with Emerging Impact are excited to share that Hope for Haiti, a humanitarian organization working to improve the quality of life for Haitian people — particularly women and children — will leverage the benefits of blockchain technology for the first time in its community healthcare program. Hope for Haiti is also becoming a member of the Alliance, joining a coalition of more than 140 mission-aligned organizations focused on accelerating Celo’s mission to create the conditions for financial prosperity for everyone.
With the support of the Alliance, Hope for Haiti is using Celo’s cUSD stablecoin to provide cash-based assistance for 150 mothers in its community nutrition program. Through Emerging Impact’s Umoja platform, which empowers fintechs and aid organizations to deploy financial services technology in emerging markets on Celo’s blockchain, Hope for Haiti will be able to register, disburse, and monitor the pilot all in one place. At the same time, both participating mothers and local merchants in Haiti can use the Umoja wallet to accept aid and purchase goods — all using cUSD. Merchants can even use the Umoja wallet to cash out earnings to their MonCash account, a mobile money provider based in Haiti. All transactions take place on Celo’s blockchain, providing a greater level of efficiency and transparency.
Last month, a devastating 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, killing 2,200 people and injuring 12,200 more. An estimated 650,000 people are in need of assistance, which is made even more difficult because roads, financial institutions, and other key infrastructure were destroyed. This humanitarian crisis further highlights how new digital models — such as the forthcoming pilot — can accelerate recovery efforts and reduce the frictions Hope for Haiti and other aid organizations typically face when deploying traditional forms of aid delivery.
Celo’s fully transparent blockchain technology and Umoja’s interface reduce these frictions by providing quicker reconciliation and automatically recording transactions in real-time. This allows payments to instantly settle and provides real-time analytics — two key benefits over using traditional centralized systems. And because the process eliminates financial intermediaries, NGOs don’t have to pay the high operating costs typically associated with cross border transfers and payments. This means that more funds can be provided to those who need it most, particularly during times of crisis.
For too long, NGOs providing humanitarian aid have had to rely on decades-old technologies and centralized systems that make tracking transfers from donor to beneficiary slow and inaccurate, creating opportunities for fraud and graft. Celo changes that: when transactions are recorded on Celo’s platform, it’s easy to trace funds from their origin to the intended recipients. No one can edit the ledger and the record of transactions is open, accessible, and easily auditable.
The projects with CARE USA, The Grameen Foundation, and now, Hope for Haiti, are just the start. We hope that other NGOs and relief organizations will join us in leveraging the benefits of blockchain technology to provide safe, transparent, and more efficient humanitarian aid.