After completing trials in several communities in Port Vila, Oxfam Vanuatu will now be implementing a new way of delivering humanitarian aid to people during and after disasters starting on Tanna next week.
Instead of giving money and in-kind, the humanitarian organisation will be giving E-vouchers to vulnerable people to meet their needs.
It’s part of the second phase of the Cash Transfer Program (CTP) introduced to the families from Ambae who were displaced by volcano eruption last year.
The project is a world’s first-being the first case of a block chain application developed in consultation with communities.
Livelihood Adviser at Oxfam and Designer of the Ambae’s Cash Transfer Programme (CTP), Sandra Uwantege Hart, said E-voucher is more cost effective, transparent and is financial inclusive.
“The system is smart and highly secured. It will reduce the cost of transferring money so more funds goes towards individuals.
“It’s transparent. The government , the donors and communities will be able to track how the funds are spent unlike transferring money by cheque.
“With cheque transfer, there is lack of documentation and slow registration. The funds are difficult to track.
“The system will also lead to financial inclusion. It will reach and connect remote communities to services and support local market recovery.
“The goal is to make cash transfer transparent, cheaper, faster and easier to deliver,” she said. Oxfam has piloted the new technology with Sempo Company which designed the application at two communities in Efate, to get feed backs on the cash transfer program and if the e-voucher system could be the best way of assistance to the people in Vanuatu after a disaster.
Recipients and vendors from these two companies shared their experiences during yesterday’s showcase of the Unblocked Cash Transfer Project to government departments.
A demonstration of how the system works was done with the purchasing of goods by participants to vendors (using the E-voucher cards) after presentations yesterday.
Director of Oxfam in Vanuatu, Elizabeth Faerua said the purpose of yesterday’s showcase event was to obtain feed backs from government agencies interested in partnering in phase II.
The project is targeting 1,000 recipients from multiple communities on Tanna.It will be implemented until May next year. The Cash Transfer Program for Ambae evacuees has gained regional and international attention and is expected to be reduplicated in other regional countries.