May 2016
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© Better Than Cash Alliance

Digital payments to Ebola response workers saved lives and over $10 million

Saving Money, Saving Lives, our new case study, examines the benefits of digitizing payments to Ebola response workers in Sierra Leone. Mobile wallets helped deliver cost savings of more than $US10 million. This is the equivalent to the annual cost of funding the Sierra Leone healthcare program that reaches 1.4 million children under the age of 5 and 250,000 pregnant women. Digital payments reduced payment times and prevented the loss of around 800 working days per month. That was crucial to saving lives.

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Building a gateway to digital payments in Afghanistan

In our new report, the World Food Programme (WFP) shows how it is using electronic vouchers and mobile money to deliver assistance in Afghanistan. WFP's E-Voucher pilot program used mobile wallet technology and biometric identification specifically designed to suit local conditions. The E-Voucher pilot programme has achieved impressive results: Over 80% of participants surveyed preferred e-vouchers to paper vouchers, and 100% reported a seamless customer experience at local stores. WFP has recently completed the transition from e-voucher payments to mobile money for around 70,000 food assistance recipients.
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5 ways digital payments are coming to the rescue in emergencies

In the Huffington Post, our Managing Director Dr. Ruth Goodwin-Groen highlights key areas where digital payments are aiding humanitarian efforts. Whether by using iris scans for Syrian refugees in Jordan to help them buy food, or by responding to disasters in Bangladesh through crowd-funding, new technologies are helping save lives.
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IRC: Financial transfers an essential part of humanitarian response

The International Rescue Committee's (IRC) annual report shows the impact its actions have had on the world's worst humanitarian crises. The organization has helped over 23 million people, of which 21 million people gained access to primary and reproductive health care. As part of IRC's programming, $US11.8 million was distributed in "cash and asset transfers." The relief organization will publish this week two new reports looking at the need for greater investment in electronic payment systems.
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Quality of service more important than cost for humanitarian workers

Two recent Electronic Cash Transfer Learning Action Network (ELAN) mobile money workshops in Senegal and Rwanda found that for humanitarian workers, client satisfaction as key to successful mobile money deployment. In total, over two-thirds of participants said that using mobile money was worth the effort and yielded good results. The workshops also developed solutions to common stumbling blocks.
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"Leveraging Digital Innovation in Humanitarian Response to Build Resilience"

The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), MasterCard and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP} will be co-hosting a side event on May 24 at the World Humanitarian Summit about leveraging digital innovation. All welcome! 
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In Focus

Alliance members head to the World Humanitarian Summit

Many of our members will be participating in the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) next week, including colleagues from Mercy Corps, IRC and Care.
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