UN agency enables iris for payments
02 August, 2016
category: Biometrics, Government
Syrian refugees are flooding into different parts of the world and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been helping in a variety of ways to get these people settled.
The UNHCR helps in many ways but it also enrolls the refugees in biometric identity program that they can use elsewhere. The individuals provide as much documentation as possible and then enroll fingerprint and iris into the system for later authentication.
The refugees are now able to use the biometrics to purchase groceries through a program the UNHCR has started with the UN World Food Program, according to a report from the CBC.
The program launched in April at the Azraq camp in Jordan. Individuals previously enrolled in the system can walk into a shop, pick up their items and with a blink of the eye pay for them. The World Food Program wants to expand the program to the 500,000 refugees in Jordan.
This project is the first time the UN has used iris scans to replace traditional forms of payment. The program has already injected $550 million into the local community in the camp and in the surrounding Jordanian towns.
The program opted for iris scan over fingerprint feeling that it was more reliable. The World Food Program partnered IrisGuard, al Jordanian company, and has registered 17,000 Syrian refugees.