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Western Union pledges aid to flood victims in the Philippines

WU foundation

WESTERN UNION FOUNDATION PLEDGES IMMEDIATE RELIEF
FOR FLOOD RESPONSE IN THE PHILIPPINES

 -Immediate direct financial aid to World Vision
 -Employee financial donations matched and pledged to World Vision
 -Donations in kind to ABS-CBN Foundation

Philippines, Manila, October 2, 2009 –

The Western Union Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Western Union Company, today pledged a series of initiatives – immediate direct financial support, agent fund matching for reconstruction, employee giving and charity drives – towards relief and reconstruction efforts in the Philippines, following devastating flooding brought by Tropical Storm Ketsana.
The Western Union Foundation joined international relief agency World Vision to provide immediate relief including provisions, medical supplies and emergency bedding for 500 Filipino families up to the value of US$50,000.

Western Union’s Philippine headquarters and regional call center AROC, both based in Manila, have begun a charity drive to encourage employees to donate money, supplies and volunteer hours. Financial donations, made by Western Union employees worldwide, will be matched by the Western Union Foundation under its Employee Giving Circles Program and donated to World
Vision. Likewise, employee volunteer hours will be channeled to World Vision. All employee donations in-kind will be channeled to the ABS-CBN Foundation, which offers outreach programs for children, their families and the community.

World Vision is working with the Philippine Coast Guard to distribute aid as quickly as possible, dispatching relief by helicopter to some of the hard-to-reach areas. Thousands of houses in these areas have been damaged or destroyed, and many families lost everything when floodwaters
swept through their homes. World Vision is organizing food-for-work and cash-for-work programs to help communities recover and clean up their streets, community buildings and schools.

“Our immediate priority is to support urgent relief efforts in the affected areas,” said Patricia Riingen, Senior Vice President for Philippines and Indochina, The Western Union Company.

“Our thoughts are with the flood victims and their families. We admire the heroes leading the rescue effort.”

“We want to stand shoulder to shoulder with these heroes in the wake of Ondoy. We are confident our contribution will help in some way to bring the stranded to safety, food to the hungry and clothing to those whose lives have been literally turned upside down. Our thoughts are with everybody at this time of need.”

“The impact of this tropical storm on Manila has been devastating” said Elnora Avarientos, World Vision’s national director in the Philippines. “Many have lost everything, including bedding, food, education materials and clothing. The poorest living in slums and settlements are especially badly hit. We continue to set up Child-Friendly Spaces for children in the hardest hit
areas including sending doctors to attend to health problems. We are also working alongside the Philippine Coast Guard to reach those stranded in the hardest to reach situations using helicopters.”
The Western Union Foundation grant is part of the Western Union Our World, Our Family® program, a five-year, US$50 million initiative to empower migrant worker and their families through education and global economic opportunity programs that help them stay connected, overcome barriers and realize their dreams.
“We set aside resources for times like these and know that after the most pressing needs are met, the affected families will need continued support to rebuild their lives,” said Luella Chavez D’Angelo, President, The Western Union Foundation.
The storm, which packed maximum wind speeds of nearly 110 kph, brought one month’s rain to the capital city of Manila and neighboring provinces in less than seven hours. It is the worst disaster to hit Manila and surrounding areas in decades.

Western Union Media Contacts:

Leah Caringal
Green Bulb
+ 63917.831.63.89
leah.caringal@greenbulbpr.com
Pia De Lima
The Western Union Company
+ 852 9261 8155
Pia.delima@westernunion.com
World Vision Media Contacts:
Rachel E. L. Wolff
Media Relations Director, International News/Emergency Relief
+ 1 253 815 2072 (office)
+ 1 253 394 2214 (mobile)
Skype: globalwolff
Twitter: WorldVisionNews

Karen Kartes
Media Relations Director, CSR & US Programs
+1 253 815 2163 (office)
+1 206 351 4315 (mobile)
+1 253 815 3446 (fax)
Skype: Kkartes

About Western Union:
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta and Pago Facil branded payment 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. Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta operate through a combined network of more than 385,000 Agent locations in 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 Western Union’s Our World, Our Family® signature program, the Western Union Foundation supports initiatives to empower individuals, families and communities through access to better education and economic opportunity. Recognized by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy in 2009, the program is a five year, $50 million commitment reflecting the efforts made by Western Union employees, Agents, and partners around the world. Since its inception, the Western Union Foundation has awarded almost $55 million in grants and disaster
relief to over 1,870 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in 100 countries. For more information, visit http://foundation.westernunion.com

About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. World Vision serves the world’s poor – regardless of a person’s religion, race, ethnicity or gender.

For more information, please visit www.worldvision.org/press


About ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc.

The ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc. (AFI) envisions a better world for the Filipino child. As the socio-civic arm of the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, one of Asia’s biggest media conglomerates, AFI offers outreach programs for children, their families and the community. The outreach programs provide assistance to child abuse survivors and disaster victims, child care, and support for educational and environmental initiatives.

For more information, visit  http://www.abs-cbnfoundation.com.

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