Visa recently teamed up with Oxfam America to scale the Building Resilient, Adaptive and Disaster-Ready Communities (B-READY) Project to provide preventative humanitarian assistance in the Philippines, Kenya, Colombia, and Puerto Rico.
B-READY unites parametric forecasting with community inputs to provide humanitarian assistance to individuals, communities, and businesses before a disaster strikes. Visa and Oxfam America intend 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.
Combining data-driven insights from Visa with Oxfam’s record of disaster relief and predictive modeling can help provide advance warning of major disasters to trigger 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 loss globally resulted from weather, climate, and water hazards. Without action, it is estimated that the impacts of climate change will push an additional 100.7 million people into poverty by 2030 globally compared to 2020. By integrating Visa Direct, which provides a single point of access to billions of endpoints helping to transform global money movement, and Visa Government Prepaid, B-READY project will be able to help build resiliency and decrease the impact of emergencies on people, homes, businesses, livelihoods, and governments.
“At Oxfam, we know that climate change, poverty, and inequality are linked,” said Abby Maxman, President and 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.”
“We are 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, SVP and 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.”
Anticipatory action and digital cash transfers are a significant part of the future of humanitarian finance, however, the lack of early warning systems linked to digital cash transfers limits the advance of anticipatory action. Reducing vulnerability to disasters requires innovation, and the collaboration aims to integrate three innovations for global impact.
Oxfam America and Visa have a track record of collaborating to innovate in humanitarian response and digital financial inclusion. They worked together to efficiently, safely, and transparently disburse funds to disaster affected populations, starting with Visa’s support to digitize humanitarian payments during Oxfam’s response to super typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013, improving disaster preparedness and recovery of at-risk communities by addressing multiple barriers to financial inclusion. B-READY was founded in the Philippines in 2019, providing cash grants to families and individuals three days after the landfall of Typhoon Ursula. It has since expanded to reach North Darfur, Sudan, and Indonesia.