Iris system provides lifeline for Syrian refugees
30 November 2015 12:04 GMT

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has revealed details of a biometrics initiative using technology developed by IrisGuard Inc that it is using to authenticate fund distribution for Syrian refugees who have escaped the conflict to Jordan.

In a newly published video, the UNHCR shows how the system uses an iris recognition tool to verify the identities of Syrian refugees, who often arrive in the country without ID documents.

The project uses the EyeBank product developed by iris specialist firm IrisGuard. Refugees can simply to walk up to an IrisGuard-enabled ATM on the street, present one eye only (no card or pin) and withdraw their financial subsidy immediately.

About 23,000 families living in urban areas in Jordan are benefitting from the monthly cash assistance.

Overall, over 1.6 million vulnerable Syrian refugees displaced throughout the neighboring countries have been enrolled in the EyeBank cash payment programme developed by IrisGuard.

A unified regional iris repository is centralized at a regional center operated by the aid agency. Instantaneous, cross-country operational transactions are executed dynamically in under a few seconds no matter where the refugee is located in the region and around the clock, hence precisely determining the size and composition of refugee populations. 

IrisGuard noted in a statement last month that the advanced trusted identity functionality helps the refugee seek asylum and find safe haven in another country and will play a preponderant role in the family repatriation process once this crises has subsided.

“The Syrian crisis is the world’s first ever cross-border iris enabled humanitarian relief registration and financial inclusion program. To have enrolled over 1.6 million refugees so far is a testimony of IrisGuard leadership, competencies and innovative technology. We are sincerely grateful to have the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of refugees at these difficult times. .” said Imad Malhas, CEO of IrisGuard Inc.

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