In this Sunday, May 21, 2017 file photo, David Beasley, the new executive director of the World Food Programme, speaks to The Associated Press, in Amman, Jordan. (AP Photo/Omar Akour, file)
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In the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, Amar al-Eid heads toward the checkout of the food distribution store carrying supplies for his two children.The data technology that underpins virtual currencies like bitcoin is now also used to deliver aid more efficiently by dramatically lowering the risk of bribes and fraud by local officials, a huge, longstanding problem in the industry.The so-called blockchain keeps a record of all transactions and buyers, making sure recipients like Eid get their goods without the added costs of graft or bank transfer fees. And donors can track the use of their aid money, all the way to the refugee family it helps survive. The U.N.'s World Food Program has been testing the use of blockchain technology since 2017 to manage aid for over 100,000 refugees in camps in Jordan, which hosts over 740,000 people from neighboring countries like war-torn Syria.In the refugee aid system it is testing, the U.N. does not use virtual currencies but dollars.
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