Humanitarian aid programs and organizations are often based in regions where foundational identity systems are lacking. Aid comes in many forms: international development aid, disaster and emergency relief, food aid, and medical aid. These all provide vital life affirming solutions to millions of people around the world. Without an identity millions of people in vulnerable situations may not receive the aid that they are entitled to. Modern biometric technology and software can provide the solution to identifying, and verifying the identities of those in need.
There is a growing number of development agencies, relief organizations, and aid programs operating globally. These organizations and individuals require secure and reliable identification solutions to not only supply and support aid programs but also to ensure that they are allowed access and can operate safely in high risk areas. Humanitarian aid programs are often delivered in remote, unstable, and challenging environments, with poor communication and limited infrastructure making identification and verification of legitimate aid recipients challenging. The abuse of donor programs by opportunistic groups results in the distribution of food, medical supplies, and resources being delivered to opportunistic groups, and may contribute to increased disruption in highly vulnerable areas.
Identity registration and verification based solely on paper or electronic systems where only biographic information such as name, gender, birth date, ID number, and address, is vulnerable to fraud and identity theft. There are also regions where groups and individuals have never had access to an identity document of any kind, and are therefore excluded from social benefit programs.
Multi-modal biometric identity registration is a much more reliable, safe, and secure way to register and verify aid agency officials, development organizations, and the identities of individuals, families, and groups who qualify for aid. Laxton’s rugged biometric registration equipment, and mobile biometric devices offer the necessary identity registration and verification solutions to ensure that food and medical aid recipients are legitimate, and aid officials have rapid access to areas to support those who need it most.
Accurate biometric identity databases can be established, and effectively managed from a central location to control and monitor refugee camps, reduce the spread of disease, and find missing persons. Digitally-enabled biometric IDs can be used across different aid agencies and enhance the efficiency of humanitarian assistance.
An accurate identity database will support more successful aid programs that are more likely to attract donor funding and support. Identity verification is necessary in order to determine the resources required at refugee camps, border control points, conflict zones, and in emergency situations. It assists in determining food aid quantities, and medical equipment required, and can reunite individuals, especially children, with their families.
There are numerous benefits to introducing multi-modal biometric identity registration and biometric databases, this includes:
- Secure identity registration and verification for individuals that qualify for aid
- Reliable identity registration and verification of authorized aid agency officials
- Secure identity verification for access to controlled areas or “safe zones” in conflict and emergency areas
- Increased efficiencies in identity verification and access to controlled areas
- Elimination of paper identity documents, which can be lost and easily copied
- Reduced identity fraud and identity theft
- Reduced abuse of aid agency donations, and resources
- Improved aid agency resource planning, and efficiencies
- Improved donor program funding and support
- Management and monitoring of refugee movements and relocation
- Biometric ID registration can improve social inclusion and access to social benefits, banking and other services for refugees in their host country
- Improves social participation and public support in humanitarian aid management programs
- Potential for governments and law enforcement agencies to establish biometric background screening for national security purposes