A Redditor living in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, claims to use cryptocurrencies to purchase food packages for families unable to access supplies during an ongoing civil war.
According to an article posted on Reddit on Thursday by user yemenvoice, the Yemeni national has raised around $ 12,000 in crypto donations to be used to fight famine in the Middle Eastern country. They say they have provided 15 families with flour, rice, oil and beans and hope to reach 30 more in the near future.
“I have tried very hard to help my people by finding all possible means,” said yemenvoice. “I have tried to set up online donation campaigns, but unfortunately not all online donation platforms support Yemen. So I thought about using cryptocurrencies as an alternative method, and indeed it was much easier and more efficient.
Yemen’s civil war began in 2014, followed by a Saudi-led coalition of forces responding to a request for help from ousted President Abd-Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. The country has been under an air, land and sea blockade since March 2015, resulting in millions of Yemenis in need of basic necessities.
According to David Beasley, executive director of the United Nations World Food Program, 16 million people in Yemen “are on the verge of famine” – including 400,000 children under the age of five, according to a separate report – with food supplies already at low levels. reviews. . Yemenvoice claims they were able to ‘break the siege’ and get funds into the country to buy food using cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dogecoin (DOGE) and Nano (NANO).
“[I] received donations, then transferred from my wallet to the merchants or exchange company wallets (we only have one company that accepts Bitcoin), then I bought these food parcels, as you can see , and distributed them to the elderly, single mothers and orphans, although there is no difference between young and old, everyone is starving.
According to blockchain records, Yemenvoice addresses received around $ 600 in BTC, $ 1 in BCH, and $ 64 in NANO, but the Redditor told UKTN they received $ 12,000 in crypto, including 3,000. $ has already been used “to pay medical bills, buy medicine, pay rent, and buy food.” They attempted to trade the remaining $ 9,000 on Binance, but claimed to have lost almost all of the funds.
“I consider the amount I lost as a debt to people, and I intend to pay it off even if I were to sell one of my cars,” the Redditor said.
Although the history and use of the funds could not be independently verified, yemenvoice claimed to have selected people in need and “paid them where I found them”. Many Reddit users have expressed support for the project, but wondered how anyone can effectively use crypto in a region like Yemen.
“If I send an amount of Bitcoin, they give me the equivalent in exchange for the dollar, but in the local currency, and so on I buy and distribute these goods,” Yemenvoice said. “Soon you will see store owners in Yemen exchanging Bitcoin and not converting it to dollars or even local currency. Especially with the deterioration of living conditions here and the collapse of the Yemeni riyal.
Related: The Rise of Crypto Charities: Elongate and Munch Raise Millions for Various Causes
While this Redditor’s efforts appear to be using crypto as a force for good, others based in different countries have bypassed United States or United Nations sanctions by relying on cryptocurrency donations. In Venezuela, authorities have gone so far as to tacitly endorse the use of crypto apparently as a measure to evade various sanctions imposed on the country.