SYDNEY, March 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The Western Union Company today announced a multi-faceted response program that will provide support for disaster relief efforts that target the families and communities most affected by Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu. The program includes grant funding from The Western Union Foundation and a consumer no-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 Vanuatu, The Western Union Company activated a no-fee money transfer transaction program from participating Agent locations in Australia and New Zealand, through April 30, 2015. Consumers in these countries will need to include promotion code PAMRELIEF2015 with their transaction at retail Agent locations to utilize the no-fee offer.
The no-fee transaction program to Vanuatu is also enabled for the same time period for transfers sent from WesternUnion.com in Australia and New Zealand respectively. Online consumers in these countries will need to use the promotion code PAMRELIEF2015.
Furthermore, in the United States, Western Union has implemented a no-fee money transaction program from participating Agent locations for consumers sending money to Vanuatu, Tuvalu and Kiribati, through April 30, 2015. The no-fee program will also be enabled for the same time period at WesternUnion.com
"The Western Union family is committed to helping the communities we serve, and our thoughts are with the people of these Pacific Islands. The no-fee money transfers to these islands, will hopefully encourage relatives and friends living in Australia, New Zealand and the United States 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 April 10, 2015, The Western Union Company will match two-for-one employee donations to the Western Union Foundation for disaster relief efforts in Vanuatu.
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.
"Our hearts go out to those communities across the Pacific Islands affected by Cyclone Pam," said Patrick Gaston, President of the Western Union Foundation. "Our collective efforts with Western Union consumers, Agents, employees, and The Western Union Foundation will provide tremendous support to the New Zealand Red Cross and their efforts to provide critical services to those affected communities."
Earlier last week, The Western Union Foundation together with two of Western Union Agents in New Zealand pledged a grant of US$20,000 to the New Zealand Red Cross to support the organization’s immediate response activities in these islands.
Wesley Rasu, CEO of the Post in Vanuatu commented, "Once again, Vanuatu Post takes pride in Western Union’s no-fee program during this major disaster caused by Cyclone Pam. The people of Vanuatu experienced one of the worst cyclones that hit most communities in Vanuatu islands. The grants donated by The Western Union Foundation together with the support from Western Union Agents and employees and the no-fee program through participating Western Union Agent locations in the United States, Australia and New Zealand will have a great impact on supporting relief efforts to affected communities and meeting the needs of the people throughout Vanuatu."
Since its inception in 2000, the Western Union Foundation has provided financial support to more than 140 natural disasters and emergency situations in 65 countries.
* Western Union also makes money from currency exchange. No-fee or $0 fee money transfer transactions will be available from participating retail Agent locations and www.westernunion.com in United States, Australia and New Zealand.
Due to the severity of Cyclone Pam, some Western Union Agent locations in Vanuatu 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 December 31, 2014, 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. In 2014, The Western Union Company completed 255 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving US$85 billion of principal between consumers, and 484 million business payments. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.
About The 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 US$101.1million in grants and other giving. These funds have been pledged to more than 2,739 nongovernmental organizations in more than 135 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.