US Congress increases funds for international co-op development

The Cooperative Development Program has had funding increased to $12m for the year, to support co-op and credit union projects around the world

After weeks of intense negotiations, the US Congress has passed an omnibus appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2017 that increases funds for co-operative development.

Congress agreed to add US $1m to the international Cooperative Development Program (CDP), bringing the total available in FY17 to $12m.

The CDP supports public-private partnerships between US co-ops and co-operative development initiatives in the developing world. The programme, which started in the early 1960s, has created thousands of jobs, leveraged hundreds of millions of private funding and helped hundreds of millions of co-operative and credit union members.

Through the CDP, USAID supports international co-operative and credit union development programs and projects implemented by 10 US co-operative development organisations.

“The members of the US Overseas Cooperative Development Council (OCDC) are pleased that Congress understands the importance of cooperatives in international economic development and the impact this public-private partnership between the US government and the cooperative sector has on global stability,” said Paul Hazen, OCDC executive director.

“Our members’ current co-operative development programs focus on food security, savings and loans, democratic organisations, health, telecommunications and electrification, which link US co-operatives to those in the developing world.”

OCDC brings together organisations committed to building a more prosperous world through co-operatives. Its mission is to champion, advocate and promote effective, sustainable international cooperative development.

OCDC members are global leaders in co-operative development in Africa, Latin America and Asia. With projects in over 70 countries, OCDC members implement the largest portfolio of co-operative development programmes in the world.

Members are: ACDI/VOCA, Cooperative Resources International, Global Communities, HealthPartners, Land O’Lakes International Development, National Cooperative Business Association/CLUSA, NRECA International and the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions.

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