FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact:
Paul Hazen, executive director
Washington, D.C. (December 23, 2020) The U.S Congress recently passed, and President Donald Trump signed, fiscal 2021 appropriations packages, increasing annual funding for the FY21 Cooperative Development Program (CDP) to $18.5 million, a $1.5 million increase from the last spending bill. “The CDP enjoys broad bipartisan support in Congress because of the demonstrated impact on building sustainable cooperatives leading to self-reliant communities,” says Paul Hazen, executive director, U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council (OCDC). Hazen continued, “Congress continues to support the CDP, increasing funding for the program by 40% as recently as fiscal year 2020”.
The CDP supports cooperatives that develop open markets and provide community-based jobs that help alleviate poverty by bringing minorities, women and the poor into the mainstream economy. The program fosters cooperatives as a viable, sustainable approach for building self-reliant communities in developing countries.
“The CDP is the only federal program that is exclusively focused on cooperatives in the developing world,” says Hazen. “OCDC’s member organizations, being long-time partners of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), are uniquely positioned to expand and strengthen the role of this inclusive private business model as part of the U.S. foreign assistance program. Cooperatives give millions of otherwise marginalized people the opportunity to own a piece of economic prosperity and join the mainstream of economic and social development. With their one-member/one-vote governance, they also introduce and strengthen democratic principles at the grassroots level.”
Through the CDP, USAID supports cooperative development programs and projects overseas implemented by U.S. cooperative organizations. The CDP is a competitive-grants program that responds to the needs of local cooperatives and other group-based businesses by drawing on the expertise and resources of long-established U.S. cooperative organizations, their members, and volunteers. In the 10 current grants, the program focuses on developing, implementing, and extending workable, sustainable solutions to key development challenges and opportunities in 14 countries.
OCDC brings together organizations committed to building a more prosperous world through cooperatives. Its mission is to champion, advocate and promote effective international cooperative development. OCDC members are global leaders in cooperative development in Africa, Latin America and Asia. With projects in over 70 counties, OCDC members have implemented the largest portfolio of cooperative development programs in the world. Members are: Equal Exchange, GENEX, Global Communities, HealthPartners, Land O’Lakes Venture 37, National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International, Frontier Co-op, NRECA International and the World Council of Credit Unions.