The Algorand Foundation recently announced an exciting new project called the Kare Survivor Wallet, funded by the American Red Cross. This initiative aims to improve the distribution of disaster aid relief, enabling affected families to receive much-needed support with greater speed, certainty, and transparency.
The Kare Survivor Wallet will use the foundational security and scalability of the Algorand blockchain to create a secure, transparent and user-friendly platform for tracking and receiving aid. It was built in collaboration with Aid Tech, a Singaporean company focused on transparency and traceability for charitable institutions. The technology is currently being used by St Vincent de Paul to facilitate the distribution of supplies to families in Tennessee and Florida, with hundreds of additional families being onboarded in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Affected families can use the mobile app to verify their identity, receive a distribution of credits, and redeem them for supply delivery from partners such as Amazon in as little as 24 hours— a huge turnaround on a process than can sometimes take as long as three months.
The Kare Survivor Wallet: A Collaborative Achievement
The Kare Survivor Wallet shows how blockchain technology can improve lives while not being at the forefront of the user experience. Natural disaster survivors are interested in the speed and certainty with which they can receive aid, not the technology being leveraged for it.
“With the increased frequency and severity of natural disasters, we are not only looking for ways to incrementally improve our ability to respond and recover, but we are investing in breakthrough solutions that could leapfrog current methods,” said Trevor Riggen, President of Humanitarian Services at American Red Cross. “We are proud to support this profound solution built on the Algorand blockchain, and to invest in its further deployment across additional states through our partners.”
The project’s early success is thanks to a collaboration between the Algorand Foundation, the American Red Cross, St Vincent de Paul USA, and the National VOAD.
How Algorand Technology Improves Relief Distribution
Data has shown that the relief distribution process in the United States has been historically inefficient and at times fraudulent. The U.S Government Accountability Office estimates that improper and fraudulent Hurricane Katrina and Rita disaster relief totaled between $600 Million and $1.4 Billion, amongst other problems1.
In addition, the funding and supply distribution is slow and does not operate with the same efficiency at scale. An article by Urban Wire cites evidence that shows year-long timelines for disaster recovery and aid distribution in the U.S.
The problems of transparency, speed, and scalability make disaster relief delivery a perfect match for the Algorand blockchain. Algorand is a carbon-negative blockchain that boasts over 6,000 transactions per second with decentralization and security.
With Kare Survivor Wallet, the behind the scenes benefits of the Algorand blockchain are on full display in the background, while the end-user gets a streamlined experience that addresses their needs:
- Algorand’s decentralized ledger records all transactions and cannot be altered, ensuring transparency and fund accountability.
- Smart contracts can be used to automate the distribution of aid based on pre-set conditions, reducing the potential of delays and human error
- Blockchain eliminates the need for intermediaries and allows for funds to be directly sent, speeding up the process.
Matt Keller, head of Impact at the Algorand Foundation, states that “While the Algorand blockchain provides an unprecedented level of transparency, security, and efficiency for the distribution of aid to those who need it most, it’s the ability to do this at scale that is the most promising feature.”
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