USAID extends economic inclusion project through May 2026
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) this month extended the flagship project of its Venezuela Regional Response Program through May 2026, awarding $14 million to World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) to continue implementation of the Economic Inclusion Project (EIP) in Peru and Ecuador on a much larger scale.
Launched in June 2020, the first phase of the Economic Inclusion Project helped Venezuelan migrants and vulnerable local residents in Lima, Peru, and Quito and Guayaquil, Ecuador, achieve socioeconomic security by gaining greater access to financial products and services, entrepreneurship and employment programs, and services focused on the prevention of gender-based violence.
Those objectives will continue to be a focus over the next three years, but phase two of EIP will also prioritize:
- More programs and strategies that allow for the inclusion of youth and LGBTQI+ communities.
- Capacity-building for credit unions and other local organizations.
- Climate change adaptation and mitigation through the promotion of green entrepreneurial businesses, jobs and financial products.
Continuing to work with more than 50 partners and allies in both countries, EIP will also expand its reach in phase two to an additional eight cities. In Peru, EIP will add Trujillo, Arequipa, Ica, Tumbes and Callao as centers of implementation. Manta, Machala and Cuenca will now be part of the Project’s footprint in Ecuador.
USAID approved the extension shortly after WOCCU surpassed all the original target goals set for phase one of the Economic Inclusion Project. As of March 2023, EIP had helped:
- 109,679 people obtain formal financial services (110% of target goal).
- 15,120 individuals receive financial education and literacy training (151%).
- 12,278 Venezuelan migrants and locals with entrepreneurship or employment opportunities (123%).
- 2,037 Venezuelans receive support for revalidating their diplomas, or professional or technical degree certifications (102%).
- 568 women receive gender-based violence prevention services (189%).
EIP also surpassed its phase one goal of ensuring at least 60% of all project beneficiaries were women.
Some key target goals for phase two include providing an additional:
- 140,000 Venezuelans and locals with access to formal financial services.
- 17,000 individuals with entrepreneurship and employment opportunities.
- 6,000 Venezuelans with support to revalidate their professional or technical degrees and certifications.
“We have a strong track record of success, and our entire team was very excited to see USAID validate that hard work with such a generous extension. We have already begun building out phase two of the Economic Inclusion Project and look forward to helping more Venezuelans and local vulnerable populations achieve greater economic security over the next three years,” said Oscar Guzman, Chief of Party for the Economic Inclusion Project.