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05 de julio de 2005

Senate Committee Nods Approval for Increased Funding for Key CU Development Program

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Washington, D.C. - Before adjourning for the Fourth of July recess, the Senate Appropriations Committee gave a major funding boost to a program of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) that supports international economic development through eight U.S.-based cooperative development organizations, including World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU).

Acting on the appropriations bill passed by the Foreign Operations Subcommittee, the full Senate Appropriations Committee approved funding for the Cooperative Development Program (CDP) at the level of $10 million. The appropriation still requires approval on the Senate floor, as well as to make it through the House and Senate conference intact.

Until now, the CDP has been funded at the discretion of USAID. Congress has shown support for the program in the past by requesting that USAID adequately fund CDP; their most recent show of support was a bi-partisan letter to the USAID administrator requesting a funding level of $8 million for fiscal year 2004. The program received less than $5 million in 2004.

WOCCU's current CDP is a $3.7 million award that began in 2004 and will continue through 2009. With the CDP, WOCCU is able to "refine approaches and develop methodologies to support global credit union development. Through the Cooperative Development Program, we are supporting the establishment of credit unions from the ground up in Afghanistan, training credit union volunteers in Ecuador, and adapting credit union products to the HIV/AIDS environment in Kenya - but CDP is bigger than even those significant activities. CDP allows WOCCU to continue to provide credit union movements around the world with innovative tools to improve the lives of their members," said WOCCU governmental affairs manager Molly Schar.

WOCCU worked closely with CUNA and a number of state credit union leagues to activate grassroots support for the earmark. "Members of Congress hearing from their own constituents how important this program is to international credit union development - how important it is to improving the lives of people in developing countries through the credit union difference - helped us make this great stride toward achieving increased funding for USAID's Cooperative Development Program," said Schar.

Schar and CUNA's Katie Herberger co-chair the legislative committee of the Overseas Cooperative Development Council, a coalition of the eight cooperative development organizations - Americas Association of Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Societies, ACDI/VOCA, CHF International, Land O'Lakes, NRECA International, Ltd., National Telecommunications Cooperative Association and WOCCU - that receive funding through the CDP.

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

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