Mercy Corps has partnered with a Haitian bank and phone company to better serve Haiti in the aftermath of January's earthquake.
The mobile-money deal could lead the way for more nonprofit-commercial collaborations.
Over the next nine months, about 100,000 Haitians will get cell phones that accept payments and allow them to spend, transfer or save their money wirelessly. Unibank, a Haitian financial institution, will provide the banking services. Voilà, a mobile-phone company, will furnish wireless connections.
The deal is the latest development as relief-and-development managers blur traditional lines between for-profit and nonprofit entities to attack poverty. Mercy Corps has been a pioneer in aligning interests of companies and relief organizations, leveraging corporate resources for humanitarian gain.
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