The United Nations is once again celebrating the benefits of biometrics in providing assistance to refugees.
In a newly-published interim report for January to March of 2020, The UNHCR touts its achievements in various parts of the world during the period. In Egypt, its accomplishments revolve around providing aid to the thousands of refugees who faced a difficult winter in the country. To that end, the organization says it “worked to enhance our authentication processes through biometric scanning,” adding that the technology had a direct impact on the delivery of material aid.
“A total of 54 Post Office branches in Egypt were enabled allowing as many as 14,734 refugees or IDPs to be approved for biometric authentication,” the report said. “People in need received their cash transfers only after positive match of their iris scans with information on UNHCR’s database.”
The UNHCR has been working with biometrics specialist IrisGuard in this project, using its EyePay Cash mobile iris recognition platform. In announcing their collaboration earlier this year, the UNHCR touted the initiative as one that would enhance financial inclusion and transparency.
The UNHCR has been an increasingly vocal advocate for the use of biometrics in establishing official ID for displaced persons. And there are signs that the agency could be warming to iris recognition in particular, with the UNHCR having implemented iris-based registration for Syrian refugees in Iraq last autumn.
April 27, 2020 – by Alex Perala