UNICEF and DigiWallet Ltd. launch first joint mobile wallet for social assistance for vulnerable families
Nine hundred families from remote migrant and host communities will benefit from $720,000 BZD in disbursements
Belize City, December 16th, 2022 – Today, DigiWallet Ltd. and UNICEF Belize signed a contract to introduce a groundbreaking shift in the provision of cash transfers to approximately 900 beneficiaries under Belize’s Social Protection Program. Said contract was signed by Melanie Blake, General Manager of DigiWallet, and Alison Parker, UNICEF Representative to Belize, at an official ceremony held at the UNICEF Belize office in Belize City. In the presence of officials of the Government and partners working with UNICEF in the area of social protection, the partnership was forged to provide critical social assistance services that are inclusive and equitable for migrant children and families.
In the coming months, children from vulnerable communities will benefit from four disbursements of two hundred dollars from this partnership. These beneficiaries, identified through a joint vulnerability assessment with Belize Red Cross, are based in the Cayo and Stann Creek districts, areas with a high population of irregular migrants with multiple deprivations and lack of sources of income. This income support is much needed, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the recent global crises and climate events, like Hurricane Lisa, that continue to exacerbate the existing deprivations and inequities of vulnerable migrant populations in Belize.
“As a payment service provider, we understand the importance of providing safe and accessible financial services to all individuals, regardless of their location or financial status. We are thrilled for the opportunity to partner with UNICEF to support migrant communities in Belize.” stated Melanie Blake, General Manager of DigiWallet Ltd. She added, “Through this partnership, we will be able to leverage our robust digital payment platform to quickly and efficiently distribute cash to those in need. Our platform allows for fast and secure transactions, ensuring that the funds reach the intended recipients quickly and without any loss or theft.”
“This innovative approach of digital payment is a breakthrough in advancing the social protection system in the country. It allows us to reach the most vulnerable children, at no cost to beneficiaries, especially in emergency situations. By establishing this partnership with DigiWallet, UNICEF will be able to support the Government’s timely response to social and economic shocks, and to use technology, in the most effective way, to provide their immediate needs”, stated Alison Parker, UNICEF Representative for Belize.
DigiWallet was launched in March 2022 as the first mobile wallet in the country, enabling the financial service industry to increase access and provide modernized efficient, inclusive and essential services for the unbanked and underbanked segments of the population. DigiWallet is compatible with both major mobile network operators and has a large customer base of over 190,000 mobile users nationwide, along with 800+ Merchants and 40 Super Agents.
Globally, UNICEF is increasingly working to identify technological and innovative solutions to address challenges and create new opportunities for its programs. With its mandate to reach the most vulnerable children with social assistance, UNICEF Belize initiated the partnership with DigiWallet as an opportunity to use advanced technologies for cash assistance in the country where the mobile phone penetration is relatively high.
This partnership and support to migrant children was made possible thanks to the generous funding from the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration of the U.S. Department of State. Belize is one of the countries to benefit from it through UNICEF, with significant investments dedicated for improvements of social service delivery for migrant communities in Belize. Both DigiWallet Ltd. and UNICEF expect to expand this partnership in the future with the goal of institutionalizing shock responsive social protection systems in the country.
DigiWallet Ltd. and UNICEF Belize reaffirmed their commitment to promoting transformative social protection programs that advance the social inclusion of children and families for a fair opportunity at social prosperity.