UNICEF

Earlier this year, UNICEF published a call to action for companies to invest in Blockchain startups which could benefit humanity. Earlier this month, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), has picked 6 prominent Blockchain startups in which to invest.

Back in January of 2018, UNICEF was searching for early-stage Tech startups. The startups had to be based in one of all UNICEF program countries. The amount of applications was actually overwhelming reaching over 100 from 50 different countries. UNICEF’s Innovation Fund already has more than 20 Tech companies ranging from Machine Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data science to virtual reality (VI) and drones.

The UNICEF announcement states that the new investments form part of a wider, long-term blockchain strategy which the agency is currently developing. UNICEF hopes to use and develop smart-contracts in order to improve the effectiveness of the organization. By implementing Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) in both the UN and the program countries, organization effectiveness and communication are bound to improve.

UNICEF believes in Blockchain

On December 11th, the Innovation Fund announced its decision to invest up to $100 000 in the following 6 startups: Prescrypto, W3 Engineers, Onesmart, Utopixar, Atix Labs and Statwig. The startups are now required to deliver the open-source prototypes of their blockchain apps within the next year.

The Argentina-based startup Atix Labs is designing a platform for small and medium businesses to gain access to funding in a reliable, transparent and traceable way, which shows how all the funds are used.

Onesmart is based in Mexico and is developing an app which will make sure state-provided social services go to their rightful destinations. The country has a huge problem with the mishandling of funds. Prescrypto is also Mexico based and will built a platform, which will help improve the availability of electronic prescriptions.

Statwig is based in India and the developing platform will be responsible for improving the supply-chain management of vaccines. While all these are honorable goals, the Principal Adviser at UNICEF Innovation, Chris Fabian stated that:

Blockchain technology is not a magic wand. While the technology can help in many needed fields, it’s still at a very early stage. This means that failure and errors are prone to happen along the way. It’s important for us that we know, the technology can be used to create a better world.

The Innovation Fund will provide additional product and growth assistance and give the emerging startups access to its network of experts and partners. Startups will also be aided by the Innovation Fund to acquire a second round of financing. If the developed technologies prove to have a real impact in the next 12 months, there is a great opportunity for them to be applied in the 190 countries covered by UNICEF.

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