Congress Nods Approval for International Development Finance
Washington, D.C. – The World Council of Credit
Unions (WOCCU) and the Credit Union National
Association (CUNA) worked with the offices of key
Congressional appropriators to encourage
increased U.S. Agency for International
Development (USAID) funding for microenterprise
development and reinstatement of microenterprise
development office funding, measures which were
incorporated into the statement of managers for
the omnibus appropriations bill that passed
"The managers support microenterprise
programs for the poor, especially women, and urge
USAID to achieve a level of $200,000,000 for
these programs in fiscal year 2005," read the
statement. "The managers also recommend
$30,000,000 be available to USAID's Office of
Microenterprise [Development] through a central
funding or other appropriate mechanism for
contracts, cooperative agreements and grants."
WOCCU's credit union development programs
on strengthening the financial performance and
increasing the outreach of credit unions so that
more poor and low-income people have access to
financial services, including savings, credit,
remittances and insurance. The majority of
WOCCU's development projects are funded by USAID
under the heading of microenterprise
"Given the many strains on U.S. foreign
assistance, WOCCU appreciates that the
appropriators have recognized funding for
microfinance as an important priority for
development assistance. Key offices have
understood that access to financial services is
essential to stimulate economic growth at the
community level around the world," said Anna Cora
Evans, WOCCU development finance manager.
A separate bill, the Microenterprise Results
Accountability Act of 2004, is set to be taken up
by Congress after the Thanksgiving holiday.
House and Senate versions of that bill passed
just last week.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 56,000 credit unions in 101 countries serve 200 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.