Venezuela President Maduro suggested installing hen coops in classrooms to feed the country’s starving children in a TV broadcast last month. It’s a measure of the enduring humanitarian crisis that he’s persistently insisted does not exist. And this stance, say aid workers, makes it impossible for international agencies, like UNICEF and the World Food Programme, to airlift and distribute the supplies that Venezuelans so desperately need.
Chicken is one of the former staples that has become a rare luxury for many in the inflation-torn country; a whole bird now costs a third of the average monthly wage. But a new initiative, PolloPollo, is hoping to put poultry, and other groceries back on the table once again. PolloPollo uses blockchain to deliver on its promise and also to address questions of transparency and accountability that have been levied against other donation programs.
Aid recipients don’t even need a smartphone. They simply must register on the platform’s website and post a request.
There, suppliers advertise bundles of produce - $5-worth of chicken or a $4 grocery combo, for example.
When a third party responds to the request and donates on the platform, the person requesting food gets a text message or an email. They then pick up and digitally sign for their supplies from a food retailer or producer nearby.
The shop or farm then receives payment for the produce in “bytes,” the cryptocurrency of the Obyte platform PolloPollo is built on.
The final step is when an Obyte representative visits the supplier and converts the cryptocurrency into Venezuelan Bolivars, or another crypto.