Letters to Reps Knollenberg Olver Lewis Regarding CDRLF and CLF

Letters to Congress

Letters to Reps Knollenberg, Olver, Lewis Regarding CDRLF and CLF

June 28, 2006

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Chairman, Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations
and Related Programs
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 87 million credit union members in the U.S. and 136 million around the world, we ask for your support, as a member of the Senate Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, of two programs administered by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID): Microenterprise Development and the Cooperative Development Program.

CUNA, WOCCU and their members strongly support funding for microenterprise development by USAID in the FY2007 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill at the level of $225 million, with $30 million of that designated for the Microenterprise Development office. Microenterprise development projects funded by USAID play a critical role in increasing access to safe and affordable financial services to people in developing countries who have none. This access not only increases the financial well-being of microenterprise beneficiaries, but improves the living conditions and economic health of their communities. CUNA and WOCCU are pleased to see the increase to $225 million in the House bill, and are hopeful the Senate will fund microenterprise at the same level, in addition to supporting the $30 million for the Microenterprise Development office.

CUNA and WOCCU are grateful for the Senate's inclusion of a $10 million earmark for the Cooperative Development Program in the FY2006 bill, and urge that the same funding level be maintained for FY2007. The Cooperative Development Program 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. The program results in economic growth, enhanced community-based democracy and improved stability in some of the worlds most impoverished countries.

Through these programs, WOCCU develops safe and sound credit unions, which provide vital financial services, such as savings, loans, remittances and insurance, to increased numbers of poor and low-income people. Attached you will find suggested language for the two programs. Thank you for your consideration.


Daniel A. Mica
President & CEO
Credit Union National Association
Pete Crear
President & CEO
World Council of Credit Unions, Inc.
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