- A UN agency has decided to display its support for the displaced Ukrainians via Circle’s USD Coin (USDC).
- The UN High Commissioner for Refugees will send USDC to digital wallets on the Stellar network.
- The Stellar-based program is currently being piloted in Kyiv, Lviv, and Vinnytsia regions of Ukraine.
- The UNHCR team has extensively tested the program in the past six months and aims to “reach more war-affected people inside Ukraine.”
The United Nations’ agency mandated to protect and support refugees, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), has decided to display its support for the displaced Ukrainians through Circle’s USD Coin (USDC), a digital stablecoin pegged to the United States dollar, via digital wallets on the Stellar (XLM) network.
As per the recent official announcement, the UN agency, in collaboration with the UN’s technology solutions provider, the United Nations International Computing Centre (UNICC), has launched a Stellar network-powered blockchain payment solution to “ensure the delivery of cash assistance directly into the hands of those being assisted quickly, efficiently, and securely with full value transfer traceability and accountability.”
The war between Russia and Ukraine, which officially started in February 2022, has severely affected the lives of citizens of both countries. The new program by UNHCR would help Ukrainians in taking funds and exchanging them for euros, dollars, among other currencies at MoneyGram locations across the world. Notably, Ukraine has around 4,500 such locations to be used for the same.
Notably, the Stellar-based program is currently being piloted in Kyiv, Lviv, and Vinnytsia, and the agency aims to quickly expand it to other towns and cities in Ukraine. The report reads:
“The money will provide humanitarian assistance to some of the people most impacted and vulnerable due to the war, to help them cover basic needs like rent of accommodation, food, medical care and heating during the winter.”
According to the announcement, the UNHCR team has extensively tested the program in the past six months and aims to “reach more war-affected people inside Ukraine as well as refugees from Ukraine” in early next year.
Ukrainians have to download the Vibrant cryptocurrency wallet application in order to receive money. They will receive USDC, which they can swap, on their accounts.
The agency highlights its goals to expand the systematic and rapid adoption of cash-based interventions. Since releasing its inaugural policy on cash-based interventions in 2016, the UNHCR has provided 35 million people in 100 countries with around $5 billion in financial support. The announcement reads:
“UNHCR is committed to further expanding the provision of cash, which is normally the preferred assistance modality by people forcibly displaced, as it gives them the freedom and dignity to themselves decide how to prioritize the assistance given, based on their personal need.”
Early this year, the Ukrainian government made notable use of cryptocurrency. Shortly after Russia’s invasion began, it received about $100 million in crypto donations. Later, it started a non-fungible token (NFT) collection focused on war memories to raise even more funds.
A crypto journalist with over 3 years of experience in DeFi, NFT, metaverse, etc. Parth has worked with major media outlets in the crypto and finance world and has gained experience and expertise in crypto culture after surviving bear and bull markets over the years.