Platform Built on Algorand Blockchain Uses Verifiable Digital IDs to Cut Wait Time for Supplies from Months to Days
ALEXANDRIA, VA (May 3, 2023) -- Algorand Foundation, the organization focused on growing the ecosystem for the Algorand blockchain, Disaster Services Corporation Society of St. Vincent de Paul USA (DSC SVDP-USA), a leading U.S. disaster relief organization providing quality programs and services to families and communities impacted by natural and manmade disasters, and National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (National VOAD), the national organization representing nearly 10M volunteers across the U.S. and coordinating with more than 130 state and national organizations active in disaster relief, today announced the successful initial launch of the Kare Survivor Wallet. Launched with funding from the American Red Cross, this disaster relief resource platform uses blockchain technology to improve the speed, efficiency, and transparency of administering aid.
DSC SVDP-USA is leveraging the Kare Survivor Wallet to facilitate the distribution of goods, from furniture to household items, to families in Tennessee and Florida who have been impacted by recent disasters, with hundreds of additional families being onboarded in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Using a mobile app, the families verify their identities, receive a distribution of credits, and redeem them for critical supplies directly from Amazon, in as few as 24 hours, compared to a traditional end-to-end process that could take up to several months.
The Kare Survivor Wallet, developed in partnership with Singapore technology company AID:Tech, leverages the security, reliability, and scalability of the Algorand blockchain, combining a digital identity verification with the disbursement of relief funds. These families, referred by DSC SVDP-USA national and local partners, are the first beneficiaries of the new platform, with plans to expand to hundreds of families by late Spring.
“This unique public-private partnership has brought together leading aid organizations with technologists who sought to streamline the process through which families impacted by natural disasters can access much-needed relief. The promising stories of these first families using the Kare Survivor Wallet is an early sign of just how transformative this approach will truly be.”
- Elizabeth Disco-Shearer, CEO of St. Vincent de Paul Disaster Services and Chairwoman of National VOAD.
“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. We envision a future in which blockchain-enabled identity verification will uplift and empower a billion people, with this being just the beginning.”
- Matt Keller, Head of Impact at Algorand Foundation.
"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. 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.”
- Trevor Riggen, President of Humanitarian Services at American Red Cross.
Once a disaster happens, disaster relief agencies can set up a form within the platform for collecting information from applicants. A survivor can then submit an application to that event, using their digital ID (DID). The agency will receive and evaluate the applications and then release the funds to the applicant’s wallet, which can then be used to order supplies directly from Amazon for last mile delivery.
About Algorand Foundation
The Algorand blockchain — designed by MIT professor and Turing Award winning cryptographer Silvio Micali — is uniquely capable of delivering on the promise of a borderless global economy. It achieves transaction throughputs at the speed of traditional finance, but with immediate finality, near zero transaction costs, and on a 24/7 basis. Its carbon-neutral platform and unique pure proof-of-stake consensus mechanism solves for the "blockchain trilemma" by achieving both security and scalability on a decentralized protocol, and without a second of downtime since it went live in 2019. For more information, visit https://algorand.foundation.
About National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD)
National VOAD is a national membership organization coordinating the activities of more than 130 voluntary organizations active in disaster relief. NVOAD brings in depth expertise in disaster relief throughout the United States and its territories and promotes cooperation, communication, coordination and collaboration to foster more effective delivery of services to communities affected by natural and manmade disasters. https://www.nvoad.org
About Disaster Services Corporation Society of St. Vincent de Paul USA
St. Vincent de Paul Disaster Services is a second-responder and a Catholic lay organization that provides person-to-person recovery services to families impacted by man-made and natural disasters across the United States. In addition, local Vincentians (members) dedicate thousands of volunteer hours to help families impacted by natural disasters. The program will continue to focus the Society's efforts on the long-term case management needs of affected people after all of the first-responder agencies have departed. https://www.svdpdisaster.org/
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