The US Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is calling for increased funding for a co-operative funding programme and procurement reform at the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
In a recent letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which conducted a hearing on the FY2022 USAID budget, CUNA asked Congress to increase the funding for these programs to $20m (£14.65m).
Congress allocated US$18.5m (£13.63m) for USAID’s co-operative development programmes for the fiscal year 2021.
“The Cooperative Development Program (CDP) is a global initiative that focuses on building capacity of co-operative businesses and co-operative systems for self-reliance, local ownership, and sustainability. This year, we respectfully urge you to increase the funding for these programs to US$20m,” read CUNA’s letter.
It added that due to their specialised expertise CDP’s implementing partners have advanced co-operative businesses and systems in more than 18 countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. The projects focus on strengthening co-operative businesses through improved governance, capitalisation, gender empowerment, youth engagement, financial management, market performance, and advocacy.
CUNA explained how the programme had, among others, provided health insurance and services to more than 42,000 people in Uganda and leveraged more than US$95m (£68.14m) of investments for cattle co-operatives in South Africa.
Furthermore, the letter called on Congress to ensure that USAID addresses USAID procurement “in ways that will ensure a fair access by smaller US private voluntary and not-for-profit organisations”.