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Smartcards To Be Used For Humanitarian Assistance in DRC

by Felix Omondi

Smartcards To Be Used For Humanitarian Assistance in DRC

Mercy Corps, a global development organization, has partnered with sQuid to give smartcards that are contactless to households in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The initiative is meant to better improve humanitarian financial assistance; the smartcards will be used to disburse funds to households for local purchase.

The targeted groups of this initiative by Mercy Corps are people who have been displaced by conflicts, individuals returning back to their countries and communities members who have recently suffered from violence. Especially people living in the conflict zone of Eastern DRC.

Mercy Corps says, “Electronic value is sent to the smartcards via the terminal, enabling local collection and spend without the need for always on internet connection.” The sQuid smartcard system will neither depend on the cardholders having a bank account nor does the sQuid system require internet/ mobile network to function. This initiative is supported by MasterCard Worldwide, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Kingdom and Department for International Development (DfID).

Electronic Payment Programme Manager at Mercy Corps, Sara Murray, says, “Providing cash ensures families can purchase exactly what they need to get back on their feet, and using smartcard technology helps us closely monitor and automate some aspects of aid distribution.”

sQuid’s CEO, Adam Smith said, “We have been working closely with the aid sector in the last two years, following a successful test programme in Northern Kenya in 2012. sQuid will be supporting Mercy Corps from London and from our base in Nairobi. We are developing further aid initiatives, particularly in Africa.”

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