CUNA supports increased funding for a cooperative funding program and procurement reform at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), it wrote in a letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday. The committee conducted a hearing on the FY2022 USAID budget.
“In fiscal year 2021, Congress provided an appropriation of $18,500,000 to be available for cooperative development programs of USAID. The Cooperative Development Program (CDP) is a global initiative that focuses on building capacity of cooperative businesses and cooperative systems for self-reliance, local ownership, and sustainability. This year, we respectfully urge you to increase the funding for these programs to $20 million.
“With their specialized expertise, CDP’s implementing partners have advanced cooperative businesses and systems in more than 18 countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia,” the letter adds. “Activities are targeted to strengthen cooperative businesses in several ways including improved governance, capitalization, gender empowerment, youth engagement, financial management, market performance, and advocacy.”
During the life of the program, activities have supported more than 500 cooperatives and credit unions with a combined savings of $495 million. During this time period, the program has also:
The letter also requests Congress ensures that USAID addresses USAID procurement in ways that will ensure a fair access by smaller U.S. private voluntary and not-for-profit organizations.”