TechWire: Humanitarian group uses blockchain tech to give Rohingya digital ID cards

A NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATION is using blockchain technology to provide stateless Rohingya refugees who fled Burma (Myanmar) with digital identity cards in a pilot project aimed at giving access to services like banking and education.

The first 1,000 people to benefit from the project in 2018 will be members of the diaspora in Malaysia, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia, decades-old safe havens for the Rohingya, who are the world’s biggest stateless minority.

“They are disenfranchised,” Kyri Andreou, co-founder of The Rohingya Project, which is organising the initiative, said at its launch in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

“They are shut out. One of the key aspects is because of the lack of identification.”

More than 650,000 Rohingya Muslims – who are denied citizenship in Buddhist-majority Burma – have fled to Bangladesh since August after attacks by insurgents triggered a response by Burma’s army and Buddhist vigilantes.