The World Food Programme (WFP) makes another step to fight hunger worldwide. It considers the implementation of blockchain for humanitarian cash transfers.

A pilot test of a blockchain solution for cash-based assistance is scheduled to start in Jordan on 1 May. The trial launch of the system would involve over 10,000 recipients. The amount of aid in rupees to be transferred is not specified. The testing will carry on into 2018 and is expected to include more than 500,000 participants in total.

The solution is built on the Ethereum platform. The main advantage of blockchain usage is that it makes money transfers much securer comparing to traditional centralised systems, and renders data record unchangeable.

“At the moment we're paying out in normal currencies, so-called fiat currencies. That is mainly because a lot of the places in which we work don't accept either bitcoin or ether. However, the ideal would be that if they do, then we could just transfer the cryptocurrencies. It gets rid of the post-payment altogether,” WFP financial officer Houman Haddad told CoinDesk.

People in the region would receive assistance from the WFP using blockchain-based smartphone interface and purchasing food in local supermarkets.

The first phase of testing was successfully completed in January 2017 in the Pakistani region of Sind. About 100 recipients have taken part in the programme receiving about 3,000 rupees and the equivalent value in food.

The project was developed at Munich-based WFP's Innovation Accelerator and supported by the German government.

Elena Platonova