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Visa, Oxfam America announce intent to expand B-READY Project

During the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), Visa and Oxfam America, a part of the global Oxfam organization fighting inequality to end poverty and injustice, announced their intention to collaborate to scale Oxfam’s Building Resilient, Adaptive and Disaster-Ready Communities (B-READY). The collaboration aims to deliver real-time, streamlined money movement and relief payments to individuals and businesses in the Philippines, Kenya, Colombia and Puerto Rico.

B-READY combines parametric forecasting with community inputs to provide humanitarian assistance to individuals, communities and businesses before a disaster strikes. Visa and Oxfam America plan to scale B-READY to create a mobile-based payment solution infrastructure to digitize humanitarian payments to help families, individuals and small businesses protect themselves and their assets before a disaster.

By combining Visa’s data-driven insights with Oxfam’s experience in disaster relief and predictive modeling, the collaboration can provide advance warning of major disasters, triggering fast and secure pre-disaster payments to families, individuals and small businesses in affected communities.

From 1970 to 2019, 50% of all disasters and 74% of all reported economic losses globally resulted from weather, climate and water hazards. The impacts of climate change are projected to push an additional 100.7 million people into poverty by 2030 globally compared to 2020, the organization stated.

“At Oxfam, we know that climate change, poverty and inequality are linked,” said Abby Maxman, CEO of Oxfam America. “Disasters disproportionately impact the most marginalized people, worsening inequality and heightening the need to provide financial assistance to those who need it the most. We look forward to scaling B-READY with Visa to improve disaster preparedness and recovery for at-risk communities worldwide.”

By integrating Visa Direct, which provides access to billions of endpoints for global money movement, and Visa Government Prepaid, B-READY aims to build resilience and reduce the impact of emergencies on people, homes, businesses, livelihoods and governments.

“We’re thrilled to join forces with Oxfam once again to extend anticipatory relief efforts that increase resiliency and financial inclusion for individuals and businesses,” said Rajiv Garodia, global head of Visa Government Solutions at Visa.

“Visa is poised to facilitate real-time, streamlined and efficient money movement for pre-disaster payments, bringing tangible benefits to people and businesses. Our vision includes enabling financial inclusion, and this collaboration marks a significant stride towards empowering underbanked communities,” Garodia added.

Anticipatory action and digital cash transfers are increasingly important in humanitarian finance. However, the lack of early warning systems linked to digital cash transfers hinders the progress of anticipatory action, the entities stated.

The organizations said that reducing vulnerability to disasters requires innovation. The collaboration aims to integrate three strategies:

  • Anticipatory action is advanced humanitarian response: Anticipatory action can reduce the need for post-disaster humanitarian response, and timely pre-emptive cash delivery can be effective in driving impact.
  • Money in the hands of those who need it most: Direct disbursement of funds to people in crises can strengthen communities and systems and provide recipients with decision-making power during challenging times.
  • Digital solutions are a key to the future: Humanitarian digital cash transfers can also help drive broader digital financial inclusion for previously unbanked people.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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