UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, announced recently it was working with the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF), the creator of the Stellar (CRYPTO: XLM) blockchain network, to launch a first-of-its-kind blockchain-based payment distribution solution for bringing funds to displaced people within Ukraine.
“Ukraine is a global leader in the development of technical solutions to increase access to social protection, including assistance for displaced people. I am very pleased that UNHCR and the SDF have chosen Ukraine for this launch, and look forward to expanding it beyond this pilot, so it can benefit many thousands more people in need of assistance as a result of the war,” said Karolina Lindholm Billing, UNHCR representative to Ukraine, in a press release.
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, just over 300 days ago, crypto has played a welcome role in distributing aid quickly across borders.
Donations made in cryptocurrency are important for the ability to cross international borders despite closed transfers between national banks in the region. Especially in the early days of the war, donating in crypto helped money get to Ukraine faster and more reliably, and its government acknowledged the necessity of embracing crypto.
In March, Ukraine's Ministry of Digital Transformation issued a statement fast-tracking the legalization of crypto in the country. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed the bill on virtual assets into law which freed up $100 million in donations that poured in following the invasion of Ukraine by Putin-led Russia.
To manage potential scam activity, Zelenskyy ordered the creation of a transparent platform for donations to Ukraine during the war with Russia, which is audited by Deloitte in Ukraine.
Crypto is just a small piece of donations overall. A March statement from the National Bank of Ukraine showed more than $6 billion Ukraine hryvnia (UAH) was transferred to a special military account and over $253.5 million UAH was received in foreign fiat currency. According to Crystal Analytics, more than $184 million in crypto donations had been received by Ukraine as of Nov. 30, 2022.
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