How New Technologies Can Help Aid Refugees

November 6, 2015

New technology tools, such as electronic food vouchers, are beginning to replace slower and more costly methods of delivering humanitarian assistance.

This work is vital. According to a recent report by the High Level Panel on Humanitarian Cash Transfers, nearly 60 million people around the world were displaced by conflict in 2014, and 218 million people a year are affected by natural disasters. Organizations need help meeting this rising demand for aid.

As Sara Netzer of Save the Children USA explains in her recent Devex article, new delivery methods are quite effective. But just as important, participants feel a greater sense of empowerment and dignity than they do in other aid programs that involve distribution lines and public displays of assistance.

After successful trials with Save the Children in Yemen and World Vision in the Philippines, MasterCard recently launched the MasterCard Aid Network, an end-to-end, non-financial service designed to streamline aid distribution even in the absence of telecommunications infrastructure.

We are delighted that this electronic voucher system is improving aid distribution. But more private sector-driven technology innovations are needed to further transform outdated aid delivery systems.

Please read Sara’s inspiring article and heed her call for help. Together, thought-leaders in the private and public sectors can discover – and implement – viable solutions to the world’s greatest problems.

Read the full article here.

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