Western Union Mobilizes Agent Network, Supports Disaster Relief and Reconstruction Efforts Following Italian Earthquake

Western Union Mobilizes Agent Network, Supports Disaster Relief and Reconstruction Efforts Following Italian Earthquake

Approximately US$367,000 Pledged to Date

ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Apr 13, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) — In support of the victims of the earthquake that ravaged Italy’s Abruzzo region, Western Union today announced a range of initiatives in support of the disaster relief and reconstruction effort.

Two of Western Union’s leading Agent partners operating in Italy, Finint and Angelo Costa, have pledged EUR60,000 (approximately US$80,000) each in support of disaster relief and the reconstruction effort. The Western Union Foundation’s Our World, Our Family(R)program will match these two pledges dollar for dollar, for a total contribution of approximately US$317,000, allowing for currency conversion. A portion of the funds will be designated to the Italian Red Cross through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) for immediate relief efforts and a separate portion will be utilized for reconstruction efforts.

Also, the Western Union Foundation is today pledging an additional US$50,000 grant to aid relief and reconstruction efforts in the affected area. When combined with the Agent pledges and matching contribution, this is a total pledge of US$367,000.

In accordance with the wishes of the Italian government and those coordinating the response to this disaster, Western Union will be focusing the greater part of its donations on long-term reconstruction and will be actively engaging in the official reconstruction plan once it is finalized.

“Our heart goes out to all the families affected by this tragic event,” said Christina Gold, President and CEO of Western Union. “Western Union and our Agent partners on the ground are committed to help, both now for immediate disaster relief and in the reconstruction efforts in the coming weeks and months.”

In a bid to mobilize its extensive and well-established network of local Agent partners in support of this effort, Western Union announces a further initiative to support those affected by the earthquake in Abruzzo, launching a “Zero Transfer Fee” initiative for any EURO money transfer sent to any one of the 423 locations in Abruzzo from 19 countries in Europe. The relevant countries are: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

Individuals in the United States will be able to contribute to the American Red Cross in support of relief efforts at any Western Union Agent location in the U.S.

The Western Union Foundation is also encouraging its own U.S.-based employees to donate through the Western Union Employee Gift Matching Program. The Western Union Foundation will match qualifying employee donations on a one-for-one basis, up to $25,000, to the American Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

About Western Union

The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) is a leader in global money transfer services. Together with its Vigo and Orlandi Valuta-branded money transfer services, Western Union provides consumers with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, as well as send payments and purchase money orders. It operates through a combined network of more than 375,000 Agent locations in over 200 countries and territories. Famous for its pioneering telegraph services, the original Western Union dates back to 1851. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.

About the Western Union Foundation

Through the donations of The Western Union Company, its employees and Agents, the Western Union Foundation helps to fund programs that create economic opportunity around the world. Embracing the truly global nature of its corporate sponsor, the Western Union Foundation has granted almost $53 million to more than 1,840 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in 100 countries. Its signature giving program, Western Union’s Our World, Our Family, is a $50 million, five-year commitment reaching people at every rung of the economic ladder. Through Our World, Our Family, the Western Union Foundation is helping migrants and their families stay connected, overcome barriers and realize their dreams. For more information, visit http://foundation.westernunion.com.

Comments are closed.