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COVID-19 Response


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. Read below for information on grantees providing COVID-19 relief.

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.

International Medical Corps

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. In addition to providing the kits, International Medical Corps will educate the community members about the virus and how to prevent its spread. The messaging will cover such topics as signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and the critical importance of handwashing and face coverings.

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. Naw Rebeca is a single mom of three children who works as a camp security guard in Ban Mae Surin camp. Through her experience in IRC’s ‘Learn to Earn’ training, she was able to open a small food shop in her home so she could stay home with her children while earning an income at the same time. She is actively exploring new skills to expand her business and says, “I’m happier when I get more money to buy food for my children.”

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The Western Union Foundation is directly funding three COVID-19 projects to reach vulnerable groups in Asia.

In China, Give2Asia is partnering with the China Development Research Foundation (CDRF) to provide one year of healthy meals to approximately 900 students at two rural schools. These schools would otherwise not be able to get healthy meals due to increasing food costs associated with COVID-19.

In Japan, Give2Asia is partnering with the Association for Aid and Relief Japan (AAR) to provide medical equipment to people with disabilities and the medical staff that work with them. Organizations that support people with disabilities have acute needs for masks and sanitizers as the Japanese government focuses on supporting medical facilities. This program will support approximately 150 people with disabilities and staff members.

In South Korea, Give2Asia is partnering with the Saejowi Initiative for National Integration (Saejowi) to provide North Korean defectors with emergency food supplies and medical support. Funds will be used to provide food supplies to around 600 elderly defectors living alone, single-parent households, fees for mandatory COVID-19 testing, and medical transportation fees for mentally ill defectors to access mental health programs.

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.

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UN Foundation

The Western Union Foundation is funding the UN Foundation’s work with the World Health Organizationto provide personal protective equipment and supplies, support frontline healthcare workers, coordinate vaccine research, and offer community outreach.


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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.

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In addition to the NGOs highlighted, Western Union Foundation is supporting the International Federation of the Red Cross for response activities in the Asia-Pacific region and the Italian Red Cross to reinforce the response capacity of the Regional Crisis Unit in Milan. In the US, the Foundation matched the $100,000 donation from Western Union Agent Foodland, giving a total $200,000 to support Hawaii Community Foundation’s Meals of Aloha program. These funds will support COVID-19 meal distribution programming via the Hawaii Community Foundation.