Western Union has teamed up with a Haitian money transfer and payment services company to allow for the use of remittances to fuel renewable energy products for people in Haiti.
The company announced yesterday (July 23) that it has paired up with Western Union Agent Sogexpress to launch the platform that would enable for the service to be completed. Allowing remittances to fund the energy products is especially important in that particular region since just 28 percent of its population has access to electricity.
What the new remittance platform will do is offer a website (klereayiti.com) that enables customers abroad to order solar light kits, which can be paid out at a Western Union Agent location or online using its Quick Pay option. Sogexpress will make sure those orders are completed in three to five days.
“The Klere Ayiti initiative is a real life example of the positive impact Western Union aims to achieve when we say we are Moving Money for Better. Through our services, we have seen the quality of life improve, education levels lift, jobs created and economies grow,” said Sean Mason, Vice President for Western Union in the Caribbean, in a press release. “We are committed to the collaborative approach of delivering renewable energy products, through a technologically innovative process of purpose-directed payments, with multiple benefits for the people of Haiti.”
According to statistics provided by the Multilateral Investment Fund, Haiti receives around $2 billion in remittances every year. Remittances represent over 20 percent of GDP of the region, which mainly comes from Haitians living in the United States and Canada. Most remittance payments range from $60-$200 and are used to pay for basic needs like energy and fuel, which is a necessity for cooking and transportation.
“At Sogexpress we want to help all Haitians benefit from our natural resource – an abundance of sunlight. With these solar lighting kits children can study at night, families will feel more safe and secure, businesses can stay open longer and people can charge their phones,” Franck Lanoix, Sogexpress Executive Vice President, said in the news release. “Having a cleaner and more accessible alternative for electricity with the solar light kits has the potential to transform the lives of millions of Haitians.”