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NFT Charity Auction Launched to Help Vulnerable Displaced Afghans

Mars Panda, an all-in-one aggregation blockchain platform, has launched a charity NFT (Non-fungible tokens) auction in support of UNHCR’s humanitarian efforts for vulnerable displaced Afghans.

The Mars Panda NFT charity auction in support of UNHCR will take place from January 31, 2022 to March 4, 2022 and feature over 30 NFTs that world-renowned authors, digital and fine arts artists, NFT influencers, and professional footballers have pledged to the auction. All proceeds from the charity auction, minus administrative and operational costs, will be donated to UNHCR in support of vulnerable displaced families affected by the Afghanistan emergency.

“The relentless influx of wealth and interest in NFTs are perfect ingredients to make them a force of good. NFTs have empowered everyone to convert their art and creativity into meaningful actions targeting social and humanitarian issues,” said Kevin Pang, CEO, Mars Panda World.

Among the VIP contributors are world-renowned authors and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassadors Khaled Hosseini and Neil Gaiman, illustrator Dan Williams, Thai Venerable and UNHCR Patron Phra Medhivajirodom.

Neil Gaiman has donated a UNHCR produced film of his poem What You Need To Be Warm which includes a never-previously-published message from Neil on the writing of the poem and its development into a film. Winning bidders of this NFT will also receive a copy of The Sandman signed by Neil Gaiman with a personalized message.

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Dan Williams has donated 17 original ink and watercolour illustrations from Sea Prayer, a short book by Khaled Hosseini (author of The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns). Winning bidders will also receive a copy of Sea Prayer signed by Khaled.

Venerable Phra Medhivajirodom has painted a one-stroke painting specifically for this charity auction. The Venerable has also blessed the artwork for the New Year.

The VIP NFTs will be auctioned for 1 week only, between January 31, 2022 to February 6, 2022. NFTs from other contributors, including Valencia F.C. footballers, Hunn Wai and Dark Zodiac will be auctioned from February 7, 2022 to March 4, 2022.

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In recent months, the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan has dramatically worsened, resulting in significant new displacement of civilians. 24.4 million people – 55% of the population – are in need of humanitarian assistance in 2022, a staggering 30% increase from last year.

Harsh winter weather has also forced road closures in many provinces, as well as disrupted flights to and from Kabul Airport, including those carrying emergency assistance and supplies.

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Despite this, UNHCR’s emergency response in Afghanistan continues. The humanitarian agency has been scaling up winter support and cash assistance to the most vulnerable displaced families. In the course of 2021, UNHCR assisted 1.1 million displaced and vulnerable people and helped 3 million people with improved access to infrastructure and services.

UNHCR and partners’ ability to further ramp up emergency preparedness and response interventions is greatly dependent on the timely availability of resources.

NFTs or non-fungible tokens are digital collectibles represented by code on a decentralised digital ledger called a blockchain. Each NFT can be bought and sold like a physical item, but the blockchain keeps an unalterable record of its ownership and transaction history. NFTs experienced a meteoric rise last year, with the most expensive one sold for nearly USD$70 million at the Christie’s auction house.

Mars Panda is a unique platform that has a know-your-customer (KYC) process to identify and verify each client when they open an account. This has allowed it to be chosen as the NFT platform to power Singapore’s inaugural NFT charity auction, Blockchain for Good by Blockchain Association of Singapore, which raised more than SGD$400,000 in September 2021 for the National Trade Union Council U-Care Fund and subsequently also supported local Singapore newspaper, The Straits Times, with its first-ever NFT auction, where over SGD$21,000 was raised for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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