Letter to the Senate Subcommittee on State Foreign Operations and Related Programs Regarding Cooperative Development Program

Letters to Congress

Letter to the Senate Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Regarding Cooperative Development Program

May 18, 2005

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Chairman, Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
United States Senate
361A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman McConnell:

On behalf of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and the 86 million credit union members in the U.S. and 123 million around the world, we urge your support for the U.S. Agency for International Development's Cooperative Development Program (CDP) with a $10 million appropriation for FY2006.

The CDP aids the work of credit unions and other cooperatives in developing countries by funding sustainable development assistance carried out by eight U.S.-based cooperative development organizations, including WOCCU. Through the CDP, WOCCU extends access to safe and sound financial institutions to people of all income levels, enabling access to vital financial services, such as savings, loans, remittances and insurance, to more poor and low-income people.

WOCCU builds networks to expand low-cost transaction services for members, creates enabling regulatory environments, develops training programs for credit union boards and managers, and extends credit union operations to difficult operating environments, including HIV/AIDS-affected communities, conflict-prone zones and poverty-entrenched rural areas. The CDP results in economic growth, enhanced community-based democracy and improved stability in some of the world's most impoverished countries. Reductions in funding for this program would drastically reduce the ability of WOCCU and other cooperative development organizations to support new, sustainable development projects in troubled countries.

As we understand foreign operations appropriations requests are due on May 20, we ask you to strongly consider including a $10 million appropriation for the Cooperative Development Program.


Daniel A. Mica
President & CEO
Credit Union National Association

Brian Branch
President & CEO (Interim)
World Council of Credit Unions

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