The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is investing in six different blockchain startups all over the globe from their $17.9 million venture fund, an arm of their tech-focused Office of Innovation. UNICEF is offering every project in the cohort up to $100,000 for the purpose of developing open source tech for 2019.

The Office of Innovation was founded to foster new technological development and since its inception has helped fund 33 different startups in 23 countries. This isn’t UNICEF’s first blockchain-related investment, but it is the first mass funding across several emerging markets.

UNICEF aims to not only support open source blockchain development in emerging markets, they also have a vested interest in the decentralized tech for their own use. As blockchain technology continues to improve UNICEF remains open to adopting and integrating for various use cases like vaccine distribution for example.  

The nearly $100,000 early-stage funding is set for distribution to the following projects: Atix Labs in ArgentinaOnesmart and Prescrypto from Mexico, India’s Statwig, Utopixar in Tunisia, and Bangladesh’s W3 Engineers. The applicants had to have an open source prototype ready for evaluation to move forward in the process. They also looked for things like diversity and gender equality (a notorious issue in STEM fields).

UNICEF has helped aid underrepresented countries and provinces through their work and has similar aims with the Innovation Fund. The six chosen projects will not only have the funding, they will be able to leverage the UN’s entire network. This includes expert advisors, partners, and potential sources for future funding past the early stage. The startup teams are poised to meet in New York City next month for an intensive workshop.