Blockchain for Emergency Distribution of Relief Aid

By Randall Pires

Using blockchain, an immutable digital ledger of transactions, could help facilitate coordinated relief efforts in government to securely send donations and track the origins news sent from credible 3rd parties.  Applicable government agencies, include but are not limited to FEMA, the armed services, and NGOs like the American Red Cross.  During a crisis, having a blockchain donations platform in place can quicken response times and help remove the dark curtain plaguing aid relief.  The recent natural disasters in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico are real-life examples of such possible applications.  Since there tends to be significant fraud during times of crisis, state and local governments could also use blockchain as a means to ensure funds are being spent for their intended purposes, food and water, for example.  It can also be used to qualify and oversee government contractors authorized to help in the rebuilding efforts.  For example, governments can leverage prepaid debit cards to help curb overall expenditures post-storm, expedite relief efforts, and cut down on the lengthy, and often tedious, documentation processes all via a decentralized data management system designed to better manage allocated funds and prevent fraud.

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