The Western Union Company has announced a package of relief efforts for India aimed at combating the latest, devastating phase of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The international money transfer company has also kicked off a fundraising appeal with Western Union employees worldwide.
In collaboration with United Way India (UWI), the Western Union Foundation will fund medical respiratory support machines for hospitals and at-home care kits for families.
The initiative is immediately expected to benefit up to 5,000 households in the Maharashtra region.
Beginning 4 May, Western Union will also waive transfer fees—for two weeks for digital channels, and four weeks for retail channels—for monies sent by family and friends from select countries directly into Indian bank accounts.
Western Union Foundation & United Way India
UWI, in conjunction with large government hospitals, will manage the distribution of respiratory support machines such as non-invasive ventilators and oxygen generators.
These are critically required at hospitals—particularly to help support patients who are in the moderately severe category from getting worse.
UWI will also deliver at-home care kits suitable to treat non-critical Covid patients outside the hospital by equipping them with Covid monitoring techniques, oximeters to monitor blood oxygen levels, and thermometers.
The at-home care kits enable families to monitor their symptoms without a hospital trip that risks exposure and further burdening already overwhelmed health care facilities.
This program will primarily serve underprivileged patients across the hardest-hit, most remote, and lowest-income communities in the region.
The Western Union Foundation has committed $200,000 to the United Way India for this effort. Further, all funds raised by the Foundation’s Western Union employee appeal will be granted to UWI, with the goal of raising an additional $50,000.
Western Union Zero-transfer fee to Indian bank accounts
Commencing 4 May 2021, Western Union will waive transfer fees to Indian bank accounts, for two weeks for digital channels, through 18 May; and four weeks for retail channels, through 4 June.
To avail themselves of the offer, customers must send money directly into Indian bank accounts via westernunion.com and the Western union mobile app from Canada, Europe & CIS and the US
The waver also applies to money sent from retail agent locations across Australia, Canada, Europe & CIS, New Zealand and the US.