Humanitarian Aid Innovation
In social development programs and in humanitarian crisis responses alike, government agencies and humanitarian groups increasingly are moving away from the distribution of physical goods (such as food, household supplies or tents) toward the distribution of money. In the right situations, including when local markets are operational and goods are available, distributing money rather than goods can be more effective in meeting the needs of those impacted while also accelerating economic recovery. Receiving money instead of goods allows people to buy what they most need for their families while also supporting local businesses.
As part of our commitment to humanitarian aid, Visa works with nongovernmental organizations and government agencies to provide aid quickly, securely and effectively using electronic payments for distribution. In addition to improving the humanitarian response, this approach often provides the first opportunity for the unbanked and underserved to gain access to more formalized financial services.
Visa, in partnership with NetHope, a consortium of 37 international organizations focused on technology, announced the Visa Innovation Grants program. The grants will support innovation in and adoption of electronic payments within humanitarian and development organizations’ programs. Visa is making available five grants of $100,000 each.
The Visa Innovation Grants provide an opportunity to improve the speed, security and long-term impact of humanitarian and development aid. By supporting organizations’ transition to electronic payments, Visa and NetHope will help foster financial inclusion in the communities they serve as well as strengthen the organizations’ ability to realize their missions over the long-term.
Recipients of the Visa Innovation Grants will be announced by Visa Inc. and NetHope in early 2013.