Unicef, the United Nations fund devoted to helping disadvantaged children around the globe, is now accepting Bitcoin and Ether donations.
Billing itself as the first UN organization to utilize crypto, Unicef says it will devote the digital asset donations to funding “open source technology benefiting children and young people around the world.”
The fund’s national committees in the United States, New Zealand, Australia and France are now accepting the new form of donations, with the Ethereum Foundation making the initial contribution to the French.
The Foundation’s donation will benefit three grantees of the Unicef Innovation Fund, as well as a project coordinated by the Giga initiative, which is devoted to bringing schools across the world that are offline onto the internet.
We are now able to receive, hold and disburse donations in cryptocurrencies – ether and bitcoin.
Learn more about our new UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund! ?
— UNICEF (@UNICEF) October 9, 2019
Says Aya Miyaguchi, executive director of the Ethereum Foundation,
“The Ethereum Foundation is excited to demonstrate the power of what Ethereum and blockchain technology can do for communities around the world. Together with Unicef, we’re taking action with the Cryptofund to improve access to basic needs, rights, and resources.
We aim to support the research and development of the Ethereum platform, and to grow the community of those that benefit from a technology that will better countless lives and industries in the years to come.”
Unicef, which made $6.7 billion in total revenue in 2018, initially announced it was investing in six blockchain startups last December after narrowing a list down from hundreds of applicants. Several months prior, the fund started searching for blockchain businesses that could identify and meet a particular humanitarian need.
Says Henrietta Fore, the Unicef executive director,
“This is a new and exciting venture for UNICEF. If digital economies and currencies have the potential to shape the lives of coming generations, it is important that we explore the opportunities they offer.
That’s why the creation of our Cryptocurrency Fund is a significant and welcome step forward in humanitarian and development work.”
Unicef receives two-thirds of its donations from governments. The US, UK and Germany are the three largest public-sector contributors.