ENGLEWOOD – At its Annual Winter Gala celebrated in Washington, D.C., the Inter-American Economic Council recognized The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) for its leading efforts to aid the economic growth of developing nations and making a meaningful difference in the communities it serves.
Company President and CEO Christina Gold was honored by the council with the prestigious Excellence in Leadership Award for spearheading the company’s initiatives in support of migrant communities worldwide.
“Western Union’s commitment to stimulating economic development and ensuring the remittance industry makes a positive contribution for the betterment of society is unparalleled,” said Barry Featherman, president of the Inter-American Economic Council. “With Christina Gold’s leadership, Western Union has become a true partner for communities everywhere, and we’re very proud to honor Western Union with this well-deserved award.”
According to a joint report by the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the Inter-American Development Bank, last year migrant workers sent $68 billion in remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean. These monies have multiplier effects in reducing the costs of education and are used by families and individuals to purchase basic goods and services – opening up a critical lifeline for the region’s economies and helping communities escape poverty.
As a worldwide leader in money transfer services, Western Union’s capacity to assist migrants in sending money back home has provided a critical avenue for economic growth and development throughout the hemisphere.
Committed to its stance that migration should be a choice – not a necessity, the company has consistently dedicated resources to foster the growth of local communities through innovative enterprises such as the recently announced Our World, Our Family initiative – a $50 million, five-year commitment to empower migrant families through education and global economic opportunity programs – and the 4+1 Program in Mexico, among others.
Additionally, Western Union also is the first corporate donor to the United Nations Central Emergency Relief Fund and through its Foundation has provided disaster relief, through matching contributions from its employees, Agents and in some cases the company has waived transfer fees for humanitarian relief in areas of need. This commitment was demonstrated on last year’s storms in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, as well as the earthquake in Peru.
“Remittances are one of the most effective ways to help fight poverty,” said Gold. “Those who work overseas to support their families back home are transforming our world and it is important that the public and private sectors work together to maximize the positive impact of such transformation. The IAEC and Western Union share that commitment, and we are very proud to help them move forward the dialogue on economic development in the Americas.”