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MADISON, Wis.-The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) has approved four new grants for 2001, totaling over $45,000. Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund was awarded an $18,000 grant in support of their efforts to organize a unique community development credit union. The credit union is dedicated to providing financial services to diverse cooperatives located throughout Minnesota, with emphasis on cutting edge lending to affordable cooperative housing projects. Another grant for $15,000 was given to the Consumer Federation of America to support a study of the savings behavior among low-to moderate-income Americans. The completed study is expected by early 2002. It will stress the value of using credit unions to enhance savings among low- to moderate-income Americans. A third grant, in the amount of $5,000, was awarded to the Neighborhood Trust Federal Credit Union, a community development credit union in Harlem. The money will be used to expand services at the new West Harlem branch, which is the only community development credit union in the area. Finally, $10,000 was awarded to the World Council of Credit Unions to support the work of the Savings and Credit Co-operative League of South Africa. Funds will be used to support membership development among South Africans and the implementation of the PEARLS financial diagnostic system (similar to the CAMEL system in the U.S.) for South African credit unions.

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