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How blockchain is empowering this refugee community in Lebanon

Reem Talhouk, Dr Andrew Garbett and Dr Kyle Montague write about how blockchain could improve the lives of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Reem Talhouk, Researcher in Human Computer Interaction and Design, has been visiting Syrian refugees in a settlement in rural Lebanon for four years. 

Spending 3 months at a time in the settlement, conducting research 4 days per week, Reem engaged with the women who lived in the camps to find out how they coped with food insecurity both individually and as a community. 

One way the participants had dealt with food insecurity was collective purchasing. This meant multiple people would pool their money to purchase items that they would not be able to purchase individually. They were using collective purchasing to benefit from discounts that are made available only when purchasing higher quantities of goods.

What Reem found was that the existing e-voucher system has restrictions in place which make collective purchasing difficult and therefore people were only able to benefit from collective purchasing when cash was available. 

The article How blockhain is empowering this refugee community in Lebanon explains how Reem saw a solution to this issue using blockchain technologies to replace the e-voucher system.


published on: 9 August 2019