SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, February 29, 2016 (PRNEWSWIRE) — The Western Union Company and The Western Union Foundation today jointly announced a multi-faceted response program that will provide support for disaster relief efforts that target the families and communities most affected by Cyclone Winston in Fiji Islands. The program includes grant funding from The Western Union Foundation and a consumer zero-fee* activation initiative, as well as Western Union employee and retail Agent giving elements.
International Consumer Activation
For the benefit of consumers sending money to family and loved ones in Fiji Islands, Western Union activated a zero-fee money transfer transaction program from participating Agent locations in the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Isles, from March 1 through March 31, 2016. While a CAD$1 money transfer fee* for consumers sending money to the Fiji Islands from participating Agent locations in Canada was also activated for the same time period.
The zero-fee transaction program to Fiji Islands is also enabled for the same time period for transfers sent from WesternUnion.com in the USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand.
“The Western Union family is committed to helping the communities we serve, and our thoughts are with the people of the Fiji Islands. The zero-fee money transfers to these islands, will hopefully encourage relatives and friends living in the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Isles to provide immediate support to individuals, families and communities in the devastated islands,” said Tasko Alcevski, regional director for Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Isles, Western Union.
To encourage and support additional philanthropy, through March 9, 2016, The Western Union Company will match two-for-one employee donations to the Western Union Foundation for disaster relief efforts in the Fiji Islands.
Western Union is also encouraging its Agents to join together in supporting relief efforts. Under the Western Union Foundation Business Partner Giving program, the Foundation will provide a dollar-for-dollar match of qualifying contributions to NGOs providing disaster relief support in the impacted region.
the Western Union Foundation together with Western Union Agents, City Forex NZ and FEXCO in New Zealand and City Forex Australia and Direct Flights International in Australia pledged a total combined grant of NZ$50,000 ( Approximately AUS$47,000)to the Fiji Red Cross Society to support the organization’s immediate response activities in these islands.
“Our hearts go out to those communities of the Fiji Islands affected by Cyclone Winston,” said Simon Millard, Country Director for Australia, Western Union. “Our collective efforts with Western Union consumers, Agents, employees, and with the support of the Western Union Foundation will provide tremendous support to the Fiji Red Cross Society and their efforts to provide critical services to those affected communities.”
Since its inception in 2000, the Western Union Foundation has provided financial support to more than 152 natural disasters relief operations in 73 countries around the world.
Reaching 184 mph, the strongest recorded storm to hit the southern hemisphere, Cyclone Winston lashed through the island nation of Fiji causing severe damage. The Category Five tropical cyclone made landfall on February 20 killing at least 42 people and leaving more than 51,000 in shelters.** According to the Fiji Broadcasting System, the damage report includes the local schools which have suffered a minimum of US$2.3 million worth of damage.
* Western Union also makes money from currency exchange. When choosing a money transmitter, carefully compare both transfer fees and exchange rates. Fees and foreign exchange rates may vary by brand, channel, and location based on a number of factors. Fees and rates subject to change without notice. Subject to applicable taxes (if any).
Due to the severity of Cyclone Winston, some Western Union Agent locations in the Fiji Islands may not be immediately operational or possess sufficient funds.
About Western Union
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. As of September 30, 2015, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of over 500,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories and over 100,000 ATMs and kiosks, and included the capability to send money to millions of bank accounts. In 2014, The Western Union Company completed 255 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $85 billion of principal between consumers, and 484 million business payments. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.
About Western Union Foundation
The Western Union Foundation is dedicated to creating a better world, where the ability to realize dreams through economic opportunity is not just a privilege for the few but a right for all. Through its signature program, Education for Better, and with the support of The Western Union Company, its employees, Agents, and business partners, The Western Union Foundation works to realize this vision by supporting education and disaster relief efforts as pathways toward a better future. Our combined social ventures efforts make life better for individuals, families and communities around the world. Since its inception, The Western Union Foundation has paid more than $106 million in grants and other giving. These funds have been pledged to more than 2,794 nongovernmental organizations in more than 137 countries and territories. The Western Union Foundation, is a separate §501(c)(3) recognized United States charity. To learn more, visit www.westernunionfoundation.org, or Follow us on Twitter @TheWUFoundation.