To help provide relief for COVID-19, the Coronavirus, Western Union and the Western Union Foundation have announced a $1 million worldwide matching challenge. The combined match will be up to $500,000, according to an announcement.
Western Union CEO Hikmet Ersek said in the announcement, “Western Union is a global company and we support our customers, employees and communities in times of need. The time is now for the global community to come together in support of communities affected by COVID-19.”
Ersek continued, “Being a responsible global company means not just serving and benefiting from an interconnected world, but taking steps to care for vulnerable communities in dire times. We encourage everyone across the world, including our employees, agents, customers and partners, to step up and show their support.”
The Western Union Foundation is accepting contributions from Western Union employees, customers, agents and the public between now and April 14. The aid will be pledged to local and global NGOs, with the inclusion of International Medical Corps and Give2Asia, for ongoing relief efforts in China and other impacted countries.
Western Union Foundation Executive Director and Western Union Head of Corporate Brand & Purpose Elizabeth Roscoe said in the announcement, “We are committed to helping our partner organizations fight this virus in whatever ways are most appropriate in their localities. We understand the importance of doing our small part to bring the global community together to combat this infectious disease, which can endanger everyone equally, without regard for boundaries of geography, ethnicity or social class.”
According to the World Health Organization, 46,997 individuals are estimated to have been infected with COVID-19 as of Feb. 13, with 1,368 deaths worldwide.
Give2Asia President and CEO Birger Stamperdahl said in the announcement, “We are grateful to everyone who is taking action in this time of need. Frontline health workers are risking their lives to help control the spread of the virus. Give2Asia sees a strong commitment on the part of the global community to support their work and to help families and communities hurt by the outbreak.”