MADISON, Wis. -- The U.S. Agency for International Development has provided $1.3 million to the World Council of Credit Unions to fund WOCCU's first project in Peru, WOCCU has said.
WOCCU's Peru Credit Union Market Integration Program works in the rural parts of the country to expand CUs' reach into poorer areas with savings, credit and remittance projects as well as shared branching.
"Increasing the level of income in poor regions cannot be isolated to sales; it must be tied to the market," said Mark Cifuentes, WOCCU senior manager of Latin America, Caribbean and Africa technical services. "So while it's important for us to facilitate the process to increase potential income, we also need to decrease the risk to individual producers. It's better for us to work collectively to sell rather than have individuals seek out their own markets." WOCCU selected two credit unions affiliated with Peru's national credit union federation (FENACREP) in each of four low-income areas of the country to participate in the project. Members of the eight rural credit unions are heavily involved in rural production and trading. Shared branching and networking among these credit unions and merchant-based credit unions in Lima will help connect members to fair trading opportunities.