Plank Testifies for WOCCU, CUNA on Microenterprise Law
CUNA NEWS NOW
CUNA and WOCCU witness Gary Plank, president/CEO of the Arizona Credit Union League, prepares to testify yesterday before the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations. Plank also serves as chairman of WOCCU. (Photo provided by CUNA)
Washington, DC — Representing World Council
Credit Unions (WOCCU) and the Credit Union
National Association (CUNA), Gary Plank told a
House subcommittee Tuesday that a 2004
microenterprise law provided a good basis for
funding accountability, but more must be done to
assure the law is implemented as intended.
Plank said that opportunities for small,
specialized non-governmental organizations to
compete for development funding are decreasing. He
said that Congress must ensure the "efficiency and
effectiveness" of microenterprise programs by
enforcing the central funding of the
Microenterprise Development Office as set forth by
the Mincroenterprise Results and Accountability
Act of 2004.
The WOCCU chairman was testifying before a
international relations subcommittee hearing on
whether programs set up under the 2004 Act have
been effective in reducing poverty through small
business loans in developing countries. The Act
was meant to ensure, in part, that U.S. funds are
targeted directly to organizations best able to
help the poorest members of a poor community.
Talking about microfinance before yesterday's hearing, from left: Cori Evans, WOCCU; Molly Schar, WOCCU, Katie Herberger, CUNA lobbyist; John McKechnie, CUNA senior vice president of governmental affairs; Dan Mica, CUNA president/CEO; and witness Gary Plank, WOCCU chairman and president/CEO of the Arizona Credit Union League. (Photo provided by CUNA)
Plank, who is also president and CEO of the
Arizona Credit Union League, said in his statement
that WOCCU and CUNA recommend that Congress:
- Provide adequate funding for USAID
acquisition personnel so that large umbrella
contracts are not necessary for administrative
- Continue to encourage USAID to use
instruments for which specialized not-for-profit
practitioners can compete; and
- Emphasize the value of direct service
on the ground implementing long-term sustainable
development projects rather than more limited
grants under umbrella contracts.
Plank told the panel that although WOCCU's
projects range from savings to remittances and
insurance, microenterprise lending is always a key
component to helping individuals and communities
achieve financial security and
To view Plank's testimony in full, click here.
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, 57,000 credit unions in 105 countries serve 217 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.
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