At Zaatari camp supermarket, Syrian refugees shop with blink of an eye
- Dollar lower, stocks flat as caution creeps in ahead of Trump inauguration
- General Electric (GE) Reports In-Line Q4 EPS
- Procter & Gamble (PG) Tops Q2 EPS by 2c
- IBM (IBM) Tops Q4 EPS by 13c, FY17 EPS Guidance Beats Consensus
- American Express (AXP) Misses Q4 EPS by 7c, FY17 EPS Guidance Tops Views at Mid-Poinit
A Syrian refugee undergoes eye verification to receive her foodstuff through the iris scan service launched by the World Food Program at Tazweed centre in the Al-Zaatari refugee camp, in Mafraq, Jordan, near the border with Syria, November 23, 2016. REUTE
Get access to the best calls on Wall Street with StreetInsider.com's Ratings Insider Elite. Get your Free Trial here.
MAFRAQ, Jordan (Reuters) - At a supermarket cash register in Zaatari refugee camp, a shopper looks into a small screen as a device scans her iris. The machine checks the customer's identity before allowing her to complete the purchase without cash, e-cards or vouchers.
Some 76,000 Syrian refugees at the sprawling camp in Jordan can now shop this way at Zaatari supermarkets thanks to a new payment system introduced by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to make sure that aid goes to the right people.
Once the iris scan is done, the device verifies the refugee's identity through the UNHCR's registration database, checks the relevant account at the bank and okays the purchase.
WFP said last month it started using the system at Zaatari after a launch at Jordan's King Abdullah Park camp early this year. The same system was introduced in the Azraq camp in April.
The U.N. agency says it is assisting more than half a million Syrian refugees who have fled the nearly six-year conflict in their home country for Jordan through the scanning system and an electronic voucher program.
The technology has drawn mixed reviews from camp residents, with some saying they could no longer send their younger children to run errands. Others like its convenience.
"We no longer worry about losing the cards ... and only the person involved can use it," resident Yaser al-Sawaleh said.
Many refugees complain U.N. agencies and donors have focused on costly projects that help improve security rather than bettering the lives of refugees by generating employment for many of the camps' youths. They complain donors are not doing enough to push Jordanian authorities to relax tough laws that could allow refugees to find legal work outside the camp where many are in virtual confinement.
(Reporting by Reuters Television; Editing by Louise Ireland)
Serious News for Serious Traders! Try StreetInsider.com Premium Free!
You May Also Be Interested In
- P&G profit and sales beat Wall Street estimates
- Lagarde warns of 'race to bottom' on trade, regulation, taxes
- Barclays vice chairman of banking Matthew Ponsonby to retire: memo
Create E-mail Alert Related CategoriesReuters
Sign up for StreetInsider Free!
Receive full access to all new and archived articles, unlimited portfolio tracking, e-mail alerts, custom newswires and RSS feeds - and more!