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11 de noviembre de 2005

Congress Increases WOCCU Funding Pool

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Washington, DC – Congress has offered its strongest endorsement yet of increased funding for a key government program that supports international economic development through credit unions and other cooperative organizations.

Acting on its annual foreign aid bill, Congress made up to $10 million available to the Cooperative Development Program (CDP). The bill, passed by the House of Representatives on Nov. 4 and by the Senate on Nov. 10, now goes to the White House, where President Bush is expected to sign the bill into law.

Until now, funding for CDP has been left to the discretion of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the government's foreign assistance agency. Despite previous requests from Congress that the program receive at least $8 million annually, CDP usually receives much less. This year, it will receive only $5.2 million.

The program provides grants to U.S.-based cooperative development organizations, including World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU), to build and strengthen credit unions and other cooperative businesses in developing countries. In addition to boosting the incomes of individuals, these cooperatives affect issues ranging from HIV/AIDS to fostering democracy.

Through its work with overseas credit union systems, WOCCU creates greater opportunities for poor people to access safe and sound financial services, including savings, credit, insurance and remittances. WOCCU focuses its current $3.7 million, five-year CDP program in Afghanistan, Kenya, the Philippines, Ecuador and Nicaragua, where it works with credit unions to build networks – expanding low-cost transaction services for members, including remittances, creating enabling regulatory environments, training credit union managers and board members, and extending credit union operations to difficult operating environments, including HIV/AIDS-affected communities, conflict-prone zones and poverty-entrenched rural areas.

"This is a very significant step by Congress to show support of the kind of international cooperative development work World Council does," said Pete Crear, World Council CEO. "We can now look to USAID for opportunities to expand the scope of our own cooperative development program with the increased resources mandated by Congress."

El Consejo Mundial de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito es la asociación gremial y agencia de desarrollo para el sistema internacional de cooperativas de ahorro y crédito. El Consejo Mundial promueve el crecimiento sustentable de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito y otras cooperativas financieras en todo el mundo a fin de facultar a las personas para que mejoren su calidad de vida a través del acceso a servicios financieros asequibles y de alta calidad. El Consejo Mundial realiza esfuerzos de defensa activa en representación del sistema global de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito ante organizaciones internacionales y trabaja con gobiernos nacionales para mejorar la legislación y la regulación. Sus programas de asistencia técnica introducen nuevas herramientas y tecnologías para fortalecer el desempeño financiero de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito y profundizar su alcance comunitario.

El Consejo Mundial ha implementado 290 programas de asistencia técnica en 71 países. A nivel mundial, 57,000 cooperativas de ahorro y crédito en 105 países atienden a 217 millones de personas. Obtenga más información sobre el impacto global del Consejo Mundial en

Teléfono: (608) 395-2000
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