UNICEF and its involvement in the Blockchain
Through a recent announcement, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) expressed its intentions to start funding blockchain startups with the aim of supporting humanitarian projects all over the world.
The funding program will be headed by UNICEF Innovation Fund, the organization’s branch that focuses on innovative projects for the betterment of society. It aims to make $50,000 – $90,000 equity-free investments through the program to provide financing to early-stage businesses.
The funding will focus on blockchain based startups from countries that are currently covered by the organization’s program.
The category of technology startups covered
UNICEF’s requirements for the program are simple: any startup that is a registered entity in one of the countries supported by the program has a working prototype and is open source, can apply.
A few of the examples provided by the organization for these startups were platforms that focus on smart contracts to ensure that processes are met and fulfilled with transparency. They were platforms that utilize blockchain generated tokens from a social responsibility perspective, and platforms that could provide ideas for socially-responsible mining networks that, as a result, could benefit from UNICEF Venture Fund.
The organization was quick to point out that the funding program is not limited to startup platforms that fit into the examples mentioned above, but they can be based on anything out of the box as long as they have the element of being used for social good.
More requirements for the submitted prototypes are for them to be innovative, easily adaptable, and executable on a global scale.
Interested startups can submit their applications by going to the UNICEF Innovation Fund website.
UNICEF previously funded a Blockchain based Initiative
UNICEF had previously provided grants to Project Amply, a blockchain initiative that works towards digitizing South Africa’s early education program for children aged two to five years.
The program is valued at $200 million, and Project Amply is working for effective tracking and management of the enrolled students – about 700,000 children.
For this education program, one of the processes that Project Amply has introduced for schools is to report the enrolled students’ attendance to the government with transparency and security through blockchain technology. This is to cut process times for the effective release of necessary subsidies that are provided for each attending student.
The blockchain based platform that has been developed for this education program will be generating identification protocols for enrolled students. Then, whenever a student shows up at school, they can login through the blockchain platform to record their attendance. This will cause the system to generate an attendance token which will be updated in the ledger right away with the data being available for all parties to see.
This move will resolve issues that schools have to face with lengthy processes and redundant paperwork to generate subsidies for the enrolled and attending students that are covered under the program.