Resilience and Crisis Recovery – Leading Locally, the Cooperative Way

Part 2: How the Cooperative Financing Program Works

The CFP provides grants to vulnerable cooperatives in rural and urban areas to alleviate the negative economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis and other devastation, such as drought and inflation, to bolster economic growth, stronger livelihood opportunities, and adaptive resilience capacities. This program targets thousands of shock-vulnerable cooperatives in five regions in Morocco, granting each approximately $9,000 to $10,000 in order to foster enhanced business and livelihood opportunities.

This financial infusion is used for items such as equipment, raw materials, production tools, communication and marketing, and training. It also provides significant benefits in terms of investing and creating jobs for vulnerable populations, including women, youth, and persons with disabilities.

The CFP team administers a baseline survey on the selected cooperatives, and electronically collects data on their operation and financing status. Random pre-enrollment audits are also conducted to prevent fraud. Once payments are made to verified bank accounts, ongoing assistance is provided via a hotline, and progress is monitored and verified. Onsite follow-up visits are conducted after payments to assess the progress, including how funds are used, member dynamics, and recipients’ satisfaction. 

In July 2021, the CFP started with an initial budget of $12.7 million aiming to support a thousand vulnerable cooperatives in five regions in Morocco, of which USAID contributed $6.35 million equally matched by GiveDirectly. This was followed by an additional contribution of GiveDirectly with $1.5 million.  In September 2022, the CFP acquired an additional $4 million to help Moroccan agricultural cooperatives increase production and overcome the drought and economic shocks. With this additional funding, approximately 330 cooperatives received a $9,000 capital injection to help them rebuild their businesses and ensure food security.

A year later, following the 6.8-magnitude Al Haouz earthquake, USAID and partner GiveDirectly acted quickly to assess the situation of cooperatives and mobilize resources to respond. With an additional $2 million, CFP created new grants for 180 cooperatives whose livelihoods were jeopardized by the quake. Overall, the CFP total budget has reached $ 20.2 million, GiveDirectly contributed $10.35 million, and USAID contributed $9.85 million.

Throughout this process, working within agreed-upon parameters, local cooperatives take the lead to make decisions and act on their development activities. 

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