United Nations International Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) has announced that it will invest in six companies to leverage blockchain technology in the next one year.
According to a press release put out by the body, the UNICEF Innovation Fund will invest up to $100,000 USD in the six companies; Atix Labs, Onesmart, Prescrypto, Statwig, Utopixar and W3 Engineers to deliver open-source prototypes of blockchain solutions.
These six companies were chosen from more than 100 applications across 50 countries and they will build prototypes for global issues such as health-care delivery, affordable access to mobile phone connectivity, and the ability to direct finances and resources to social-impact projects. Apart from these six companies, 20 more technology start ups are a part of this project.
Commenting on the development, Chris Fabian, Principal Adviser, UNICEF Innovation stated, “Blockchain technology is still at an early stage — and there is a great deal of experimentation, failure, and learning ahead of us as we see how, and where, we can use this technology to create a better world. That’s exactly the stage when UNICEF Innovation Fund invests: when our financing, technical support, and focus on vulnerable populations can help a technology grow and mature in the most fair and equitable way possible.”
The release further noted that the investments were a part of UNICEF’s “larger blockchain explorations of using smart-contracts for organizational efficiencies, creating distributed decision-making processes, and working to build knowledge and understanding of distributed ledger technology” in not only the United Nations as a whole but also in the countries where the UNICEF is active.
In the past the United Nations had also partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Binance to drive financial development through blockchain. At the time, Helen Hai, head of Blockchain Charity Foundation, had said, “We firmly believe that blockchain technology will bring transformative solutions to social problems, and help bridge the UN Sustainable Development Goals funding gap in fast and innovative ways. Working with UNDP, our aim is to eradicate poverty and empower and bring prosperity to millions who are marginalized and living in poverty.”
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