Refugee Inclusive Community Currencies (RICCs)

June 27, 2019

 Responding to Refugee Crisis

 

This is the current and biggest humanitarian global crisis in our lifetimes and we all need to play a part. 

 

"We are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record. An unprecedented 70.8 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 25.9 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. There are also millions of stateless people who have been denied a nationality and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement.In a world where nearly 1 person is forcibly displaced every two seconds as a result of conflict or persecution" - UNHCR  

 

Our dream is supporting social and economic inclusion of refugees worldwide by developing and enabling Refugee Inclusive Community Currencies (RICCs). With this hope Grassroots Economics has partnered with Red Cross and Bancor on a plan to apply Community Currency systems in such humanitarian crisis. This plan was jointly submitted to GSMA and Department for International Development (DFID) as part of the 3rd round of their results based financing grant pool. This new financial infrastructure bridges credit gaps, empowers micro-entrepreneurs in low income communities and refugee camps to establish their own financial independence, and builds thriving regional economies.

 

A short description of the program and technology can be found here

  1. Donations and Cash Transfer funds the initial reserve for the creation of RICCs tokens

  2. Red Cross, together with Grassroots Economics, works with a local community to ensure buy-in and understanding and trains local ambassadors who train users and distribute RICCs for local barter trade among regional communities.

  3. Local circulation of RICCs among and between communities enables economic development and integration while gathering evidence for those who should receive additional aid.

  4. KYC’ed users are able to convert RICCs to eMoney and the aid pool can be refilled through local and international support and investment.

Previous Success with Grassroots Economics and Red Cross working to end Chronic Need:

 

Grassroots Economics came in at the tail end of a Cash For Work program in (Red Cross Kwale-Kenya and WFP). We were invited  into the existing Red Cross organized and trained group in Miyani Village and empowered them with the ability to create their own voucher system with the goal of continuing the Red Cross communal farming efforts. The vouchers (Miyani-Pesa) have enabled the community to pay their members to do the communal farming work in the same manner as Red Cross - and the community accepts the vouchers back in many locations (such as maize milling) - creating local circulation and economic development (going back to an economy that thrived over a hundred years in their culture pre-colonization). In the area around Miyani there are currently close to 2000 users of the Vouchers (now blockchain Tokens with the Bancor Protocol) trading roughly 500,000 Kenyan shillings a month for basic food security and other needs. The Miyani FDP (Food Distribution Point). Due to this work the Miyani Group that Red Cross developed and trained to do Cash For Work is the only one remaining in the entire county still doing their communal activities due.

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