CUNA strongly supports $50 million for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Cooperative Development Program (CDP), it wrote to a House Appropriations subcommittee Wednesday. CUNA also asks Congress to support funding for USAID’s existing partners in Ukraine, specifically credit unions.
“The CDP is a global initiative that focuses on building capacity of cooperative businesses and cooperative systems for self-reliance, local ownership, and sustainability,” the letter reads, adding that implementing partners have advanced cooperatives in more than 18 countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
“Activities are targeted to strengthen cooperative businesses in several ways including improved governance, capitalization, gender empowerment, youth engagement, financial management, market performance, and advocacy,” the letter reads. “The program also prioritizes collaboration among partners through working groups, cooperative research, learning, and dissemination of cooperative development resources.”
CUNA also notes that the USAID-funded Credit for Agriculture Producers (CAP) Project—implemented by the World Council of Credit Unions—has been responsive to many needs since the Russian invasion in February, needs that will continue into recovery.
“Further, through direct collaboration with its existing credit union partners, the CAP Project will enable efficient access to finance to help Ukrainians recover and rebuild their lives,” the letter reads. “CAP will build upon its strong relationship with the NBU to rebuild a robust financial sector in rural areas with strong credit unions at its foundation.”