World Council Advocates to USAID to Expand Opportunities for Credit Unions
Meeting with USAID Administrator Mark Green sets stage for aid delivery reform
July 10, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C.—World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) President and CEO Brian Branch, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President and CEO Jim Nussle, and former Congressman and House Foreign Relations Committee Chair Ed Royce met with USAID Administrator Mark Green to appeal for a shift in the agency’s international development to support a wider array of underutilized partners such as credit unions.
Branch emphasized to Green that WOCCU’s global credit union network reaches more than 260 million members in 117 countries—allowing credit union volunteers, services and training to reach people across the world at the community level. Those communities often turn to their local credit unions for a response during geopolitical crises or natural disasters—and those credit unions often turn to World Council for guidance and the capacity to respond. This occurs in many countries prioritized by USAID.
Nussle and Royce urged Green to leverage more USAID dollars by working with community-based credit unions to promote self-reliance and empower local citizens.
“We thank Administrator Green for his time this morning as we joined the World Council to discuss ways that not-for-profit financial cooperatives can improve the lives of individuals at home and abroad,” said Nussle. “The World Council has a long history of using the financial cooperative model to foster international development and increase access to financial services, and with continued engagement with USAID and other policymakers, credit unions can do even more.”
One of the challenges that Branch explained to Green was how new contract awards have become increasingly concentrated in a small circle of large organizations which choose to keep contracts in-house, and do not partner with more specialized, smaller implementers like World Council.
“This year World Council is successfully leveraging USAID funds to work with credit union partners globally to allow more small farmers to secure loans in Africa and Eastern Europe. In Haiti, we are helping to finance affordable green-housing initiatives and boost financial literacy. Administrator Green seemed very open to the idea that this type of model that could be replicated across the world,” said Branch.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform 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 300+ technical assistance programs in 89 countries. Worldwide, 85,400 credit unions in 118 countries serve 274 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.