• 17 July, 2024
News

Stellar and Circle Join Forces with UNHCR to Boost Aid Effort

The United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR) has partnered with Circle, the Stellar Development Foundation, and MoneyGram International to deliver aid rapidly to those affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Per the organization, the humanitarian crisis has worsened, with 103 million people forcibly displaced and 339 million in need of assistance. 

The collaboration utilizes Circle’s digital dollar currency, USDC, to distribute humanitarian aid more efficiently and securely than traditional methods. The system leverages internet-ready, device-centric payment methods to offer several advantages over legacy payments infrastructure. Recipients do not need a bank account, and they can receive funds within minutes on a smartphone through a digital wallet app. 

Furthermore, redeeming aid payments is flexible, as displaced persons can hold and transport digital dollars in a digital wallet and convert them to cash when needed, and safe to do so at over 350,000 MoneyGram locations in more than 200 countries.

Last year, the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) announced its partnership with UNHCR to pilot a digital cash disbursement system powered by Stellar to send money to Ukrainians in need. The “Stellar Aid Assist” pilot project focuses on instantly delivering UN aid by partnering with Circle, MoneyGram International, and the wallet app Vibrant.

Stellar Aid Assist is already being used to provide qualified Ukrainians with financial assistance through the stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) sent directly to their phones. Eligible Ukrainians can register with a participating relief organization to receive digital relief aid through the Vibrant wallet and access the funds in cash at participating MoneyGram locations.

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