Western Union Foundation provided relief funding for global pandemic

COVID-19 By Emily Larson Jul 16, 2020

In December 2019, as soon as the Coronavirus appeared in China, the Western Union Foundation began planning a response. Little did we know then that it would spread to become a global pandemic. In February 2020, Western Union and the Western Union Foundation committed to support COVID-19 relief efforts across the globe. The Foundation raised funds from Western Union and its partners, including agents, consumers, and employees through a matching challenge. Thanks to the generosity of the global Western Union community, the Foundation has given more than $1M USD to global nonprofit organizations.

The Western Union Foundation is proud to support domestic and global nonprofits who provide COVID-19 relief to places in need, as well as vulnerable populations, including refugees and migrants. Relief includes access to essential services including hunger relief, medical training, education, supplies, and equipment for frontline healthcare workers. Below are highlights from some of the organizations the Foundation is supporting. You can read more about them and other grantees here.

Nonprofit Grantees Providing COVID-19 Relief

International Medical Corps (IMC): The International Medical Corps is addressing urgent needs to combat COVID-19 outbreaks in vulnerable communities. With Western Union Foundation funds, they are providing medical expertise, equipment, training, and triage and treatment services to countries most in need.

Western Union employees in the Philippines raised funds to help those closest to them, and the Foundation matched their donations 2:1. Funds are providing community members in Quezon City with COVID-19 kits that include infection prevention and control items, as well as hygiene supplies – such as washable cloth face masks, soap, and disinfectants – that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Give2Asia: The Western Union Foundation is directly funding three COVID-19 projects to reach vulnerable groups In China, Japan, and South Korea. These projects will provide healthy meals, medical equipment, and emergency food supplies.

International Rescue Committee (IRC): The Western Union Foundation is funding economic recovery in Thailand through technology. Programming includes the virtual transition of IRC’s ‘Learn to Earn’ and ‘Training of the Trainer’ programs that promote online economic resiliency and entrepreneurship skills across seven refugee camps in Thailand.

Family Tree: Through the Foundation’s ‘WU Votes’ program, employees in the Denver office selected Family Tree to receive a grant. Family Tree will use the funds to acquire technology and supplies needed to continue providing direct services and essential support, such as meals and sanitation supplies, to those who are particularly impacted and vulnerable.

Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund Tony’s Charitable Foundation: In April 2020, The Foundation donated $100,000 to the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund, providing essential services to the Chicago area, such as food and healthcare supplies. Our donation included a $50,000 contribution from the charitable arm of Tony’s Fresh Market, a Western Union Agent in Chicago.

In addition to the NGOs highlighted, the Western Union Foundation is supporting the International Federation of the Red Cross, the Italian Red Cross, the UN Foundation’s work with the World Health Organization, and the Hawaii Community Foundation.

While this pandemic continues to impact the world, The Western Union Foundation continues to fund programs that help the most vulnerable populations make a place for themselves in the global economy. Read here for more information on our recent grants funding and the programs we support.