CUNA wrote a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee in strong support of proper funding levels for several international cooperative priorities in fiscal year 2024. The subcommittee will conduct a hearing on USAID development initiatives at the local level Thursday.
“Considering today’s hearing and the Committee’s role in authorizing international aid programs, we are writing in strong support of fiscal year 2024 funding levels of $50 million for the Cooperative Development Program (CDP); $30 million to expand for the Credit for Agriculture Producers' (CAP) Technical Assistance Project; and $50 million to support the efforts of the countries surrounding Ukraine to support reintegration of Ukrainian displaced persons and refugees,” the letter reads.
The CDP is a global initiative that focuses on building capacity of cooperative businesses and cooperative systems for self-reliance, local ownership, and sustainability. It was funded at $18.5 million in FY23.
The CAP Technical Assistance Project allows credit unions of Ukraine to ensure the liquidity of credit unions, access to savings and agricultural loans to support local food security, and other community needs.
Its current authorization expires at the end of fiscal year 2024, and CUNA called for it to be extended.
The additional $50 million CUNA requests would support World Council of Credit Union efforts to ensure communities affected by the war can receive funding.
“WOCCU working with the US-led credit unions system can activate the network of cooperative financial institutions to ensure that financing gets to the last-mile, retail level of small farmers, local businesses, and vulnerable populations, especially women who have been disproportionately affected by the war and are the primary care givers of children and families across the region,” the letter reads. “Congress should direct USAID to fully fund this effort.”