Africa is a land of many possibilities but is ravaged by war, poverty and rampant corruption. Most people in Africa live below the poverty line of $1 a day. This leaves them vulnerable to disease, poor living conditions and subsequently prone to manipulation by political elite for selfish gain.
Organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations, play a leading role in delivery of food aid as well as medicine. These are transported via roads and sea leading to huge loses, with $3.5bn out of the $17.4bn aid intended for beneficiaries actually reaching them. The alternative of paper vouchers also suffers losses with only 33% of intended beneficiaries getting help.
So how can tech solve this?
Instaid, a startup founded by Nairobi based IT company, Card Planet Solutions seeks to change all this. Instaid is a secure platform that allows organizations to instantly create and distribute e-vouchers for medical and nutritional purposes via mobile phone technology.
Organizations first register for Instaid online, they then get access to the web-based portal where they can send multiple vouchers to intended beneficiaries.
Individual subscribers as well register for the service by dialing *384# on their mobile phones. After registration, they too can purchase and send vouchers to beneficiaries.
The USSD runs on even the most basic of phones making it very reliable.
Instaid has partnered with service providers enabling beneficiaries to redeem the vouchers instantly for food or medicine and thus shortening the time aid is received. This also reduces the logical costs making it very effective for organizations. The platform also allows aid organizations to track voucher redemption as well as payment rates through the interface dashboard.
The startup is growing fast and aims to reach 50,000 beneficiaries by the end of 2015 as well as partner with more organizations.
Instaid is truly a confirmation that necessity is the mother of invention and it is poised to change how aid is delivered not only in Africa but across the world.
Be sure to check in with Nairobi Garage for more impactful startups in Kenya.