Western Union and Money Mart’s money transfer fees take 20% of money sent to drought-ravaged East Africa

BC action against Western Union, February 13, 2013.New Canadians and temporary foreign workers are mad about the outrageous costs of sending money back home to loved ones in need – but the famine in Somalia, and devastating drought in neighbouring Kenya, has one person especially upset. Tenneh Amara is an ACORN leader working on the national campaign for Remittance Justice who feels the famine in East Africa has made the call more urgent than ever.

“Like most new Canadians I send whatever I can afford to send back to my family and friends in East Africa – and for every dollar I send Western Union gets to keep 20 cents. I send 100 dollars to help feed people I love, and a massive company keeps $20, that is wrong. They need to lower their charges immediately. At this point, because of the drought, that money they are taking from my pocket could save someone’s life!” Tenneh Amara from New Westminster, BC explains.

At 12:00pm Wednesday, February 13, 2013 ACORN Canada leaders from Surrey, Burnaby and New Westminster held an action at a Money Mart location that acts as an agent for Western Union. Tenneh led a small contingent of remittance users who are calling for lower fees and real government oversight on the predatory remittance market.

ACORN Canada launched its Remittance Justice campaign in December of 2010 with a report that detailed how much government oversight was needed in the massive remittance market.

To speak with ACORN Canada spokesperson Tenneh Amara please contact: Scott Nunn at 604 500 2874 or bcacorn@acorncanada.org