UN finding that biometrics helps conflict situations
09 October 2017 14:20 GMT

The UN has found that agencies tracking displaced persons are increasingly using biometric registration to increase efficiency.

Biometrics are helping agencies provide real-time data, limit paperwork, the UN wrote in a recent report.

The technology can also help better target aid, particularly in conflict areas, where personal identification systems are weak, writes Devex in an analysis of the trend.

In Sudan alone, one site recorded $1 million a month in savings using biometrics.

However, there is an issue whereby overalapping data can cause duplication of work by agencies, specifically between the International Organization for Migration and the World Food Programme in Nigeria.

“If beneficiaries are registered in both systems, the efforts and the caseload that is receiving assistance are duplicated, [so] it is paramount to have these two systems that are interoperable,” said Amalraj Nallainathan, an IOM information management officer. “We are working very closely with WFP to develop the interoperability module,” he said. “We will hopefully complete this by the end of the year.”

“Unfortunately we are getting to the point where there are so many humanitarian crises around the world, so many competing emergencies, and we will be looking at how to properly allocate resources,” Henry Kwenin, coordinator of the IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix based in Maiduguri, Nigeria, told Devex.