World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) President and CEO Brian Branch, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President and CEO Jim Nussle, and former Congressman and House Foreign Relations Committee Chair Ed Royce met with USAID Administrator Mark Green to appeal for a shift in the agency’s international development funding — now concentrated in a small circle of large organizations — to include a wider array of smaller, underutilized partners such as credit unions.

Branch emphasized to Green that WOCCU’s global credit union network reaches more than 260 million members in 117 countries — allowing credit union volunteers, services and training to reach people across the world at the community level. Those communities often turn to their local credit unions for a response during geopolitical crises or natural disasters—and those credit unions often turn to World Council for guidance and the capacity to respond. This occurs in many countries prioritized by USAID.

Nussle and Royce urged Green to leverage more USAID dollars by working with community-based credit unions to develop programs that empower the self-reliance and economic potential of local citizens.

“We thank Administrator Green for his time this morning as we joined the World Council to discuss ways that not-for-profit financial cooperatives can improve the lives of individuals at home and abroad,” said Nussle. “The World Council has a long history of using the financial cooperative model to foster international development and increase access to financial services, and with continued engagement with USAID and other policymakers, credit unions can do even more.”