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USAID and World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) in June brought together representatives of more than 200 public and private sector organizations for a pair of events in Peru and Ecuador that focused on the United States’ commitment to the socioeconomic integration of vulnerable local and migrant populations through sustainable initiatives like the newly extended Economic Inclusion Project (EIP).
Event organizers focused on sharing the achievements and lessons learned from EIP phase one (June 2020 to June 2023) and discussed the new areas of focus for phase two, which will run through May 2026.
EIP Chief of Party Oscar Guzmán expressed gratitude for the collaborative work of more than 50 partners and allies in both countries.
"Although EIP has had great achievements, including allowing more than 109,000 people to access to financial services and benefiting more than 12,000 with entrepreneurship and employment opportunities, the new phase seeks to achieve the sustainability of the methodologies in a greater scope of intervention, which is more challenging," said Guzmán.
Guzmán explained that phase two of the Project will feature an environmental aspect focused on climate change adaptation and mitigation through the promotion of green entrepreneurial businesses, jobs and financial products—and expanding program offerings to include more young people in both countries.
With EIP focusing much of its efforts on assisting Venezuelan migrants, a representative from the National Superintendence of Migrations of Peru noted the Project’s value in providing technical support that allowed government agencies to help with the implementation.
That comment came during a panel discussion at the event in Peru that also included representatives from the Venezuelan Union in Peru, Financiera Confianza, Antonio Ruiz de Montoya University and APPV Association.
In Ecuador, representatives of the Financial Policy and Regulation Board, the Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investment and Fisheries, the Municipality of Quito, FUDELA and the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador participated in a similar panel discussion.
EIP beneficiaries also spoke at the events, sharing how their participation changed their lives.
“I thought I knew it all, but USAID and WOCCU opened up a way of seeing life and putting things in order to achieve what we have today," Daniel Bracho told the audience in Ecuador.
In Peru, two participants who were able to recertify their professional qualifications with the help of EIP shared their stories.
"I was able to show my children that with honesty and effort, things can be achieved," said Dr. Astrid Dunn.
The events also featured a showroom and networking space where entrepreneurs assisted through EIP were able to exhibit and sell their products.
The socioeconomic integration of migrants, refugees and the local population, which continues to be promoted by USAID and WOCCU, improves living conditions for them and their families in a sustainable manner, positively impacting the harmonious development of society and the economic development of Peru, Ecuador and greater Latin America.