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Western Union, a leader in cross-border, cross-currency money and payments, and the Western Union Foundation announced that the Foundation is making $ 250,000 in donations to meet the immediate and long-term needs of refugees, including those displaced at Moria Camp in Greece, to support. More than 12,000 people have been evacuated from Moria camp on the island of Lesbos, which was destroyed in a fire early last week.
The camp was the temporary home for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers from more than 70 countries, including the elderly, pregnant women, children and people with disabilities. With the destruction of their only refuge, thousands are now without protection or access to water and sanitation.
The Foundation will donate US $ 100,000 to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in support of immediate crisis relief for the evacuees at Moria Camp. These funds will finance safe accommodation, mental health and psychosocial support and the distribution of urgently needed goods, with a focus on preventing COVID-19 infections. A further USD 150,000 is being used to support long-term efforts and crisis aid to make sustainable life possible for refugees in Greece.
“At Western Union, we and our Foundation are committed to helping migrants, refugees and displaced persons around the world. Our thoughts go with the people of Moria Camp,” said Hikmet Ersek, President and CEO of Western Union. “Many of our customers are migrants who have moved from their home country to a host country for various reasons – economic, financial, family or security reasons.”
“We appeal to leading global corporations to join forces in helping these people in need as their lives are at stake. We know firsthand that people will surpass themselves when they are fundamentally supported and given them through education, training and access to global economy opportunities are offered. ”
In a recent statement from IRC, Dimitra Kalogeropoulou, IRC Greece Country Director, said: “The latest developments in Moria are unimaginable, but unfortunately they were predictable. The catastrophic situation on the island has dragged on for far too long. Now that the camp destroyed and the residents evacuated, the situation is alarming as there is no safe place to live for them. These already traumatized people have now also lost their few possessions; they now have nothing. ”
Since its inception, the Western Union Foundation has donated US $ 10.5 million worldwide to assist displaced persons, including immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, those affected by conflict, and migrants. Including $ 2.5 million in Europe.
Since 2018, the Western Union Foundation, together with the MIT D-Lab, has provided refugees in Greece with practical learning experiences in the fields of design, innovation and entrepreneurship. These people were given technical and soft skills in order to be able to build their own business, while at the same time emphasis was placed on building trust, acting and problem-solving skills.
According to the UN, more than 70 million people worldwide were displaced from their homes as a result of conflict or persecution at the end of 2018. These include almost 30 million refugees, more than half of whom are under 18 years of age. There are also millions of stateless people who have been denied any nationality or access to basic rights such as education, health care, work and freedom of movement.
About Western Union
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leading global provider of cross-border, cross-currency money movements and payments. Our omnichannel platform connects the digital and physical worlds and enables consumers and businesses to send and receive money and make payments quickly, easily and reliably. As of June 30, 2020, our network comprised over 550,000 distributor locations at retail locations who offer our branded services in more than 200 countries and territories and are able to send money to billions of accounts. Additionally, westernunion.com, our fastest growing channel in 2019, is available in over 70 countries and additional territories for moving money around the world. With our global reach, Western Union moves money for the benefit of all, connecting family, friends and businesses to enable financial inclusion and support economic growth. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.
Via the Western Union Foundation
The Western Union Foundation believes education is the surest route to economic opportunity. After 20 years of activity, we are continuing our mission with our Opportunity Beyond Borders program. The focus is on empowering displaced and marginalized young people through training and education to be successful in today’s technology-driven global economy. The Foundation also provides funds to communities in times of crisis through disaster relief and other humanitarian efforts related to forced displacement. To date, more than 126 million has been donated to projects and grants in 174 countries worldwide. The Western Union Foundation is a stand-alone, not-for-profit organization that is 501 (c) (3) tax exempt and is supported by the Western Union Company, its employees, distributors, and business partners. Donations to the Foundation are deductible from US income tax. To learn more, please visit wu.com/foundation or follow us on Twitter at @TheWUFoundation.