A Syrian refugee man carries a watermelon as he rides a bicycle on the main market, during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan at the Al-Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan, near the border with Syria June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
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The U.N. agency launched the futuristic system in May as a one-month pilot involving 10,000 of Azraq's more than 50,000 inhabitants in a bid to explore blockchain's potential to cut costs and bottlenecks.To move the money across the about 80 countries in which it operates, the agency relies on the services of a large number of banks and financial intermediaries that traditionally apply transaction fees of up to 3.5 percent, said Opp.In 2012, former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said 30 percent of all U.N. development assistance was lost to corruption.The club has since grown to about 10 members, including the U.N. children's agency UNICEF and its refugee agency, UNHCR.In April the group asked private companies for ideas for possible applications of blockchain to the U.N. system."[This would allow] people to be appreciated for who they are and the qualifications they have and not just seen as refugees," Rusten said.A blockchain database with information on refugees' identity and the type of support they receive would also help avoid duplications of work between different U.N. agencies.Creating a centralized United Nations out of a "gigantic bureaucratic system" is still some way off, Yamamoto said.
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