MADISON, Wis. – High ranking Philippines government officials joined Philippine President Gloria Arroyo last month in commending the World Council of Credit Unions for the organization's Credit Union Empowerment and Strengthening Project which focuses on providing affordable financial services to people, especially women, in some of the poorest areas of the country. President Arroyo also praised Freedom From Hunger, WOCCU's project partner, during the four day, Global Pinoy celebrations held Nov. 15-18 in Mindanao, Philippines in honor of the successes achieved by the project. The Credit Union Empowerment and Strengthening Project is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). It includes two components – Savings and Credit with Education, and Model Credit Union Building. Eighteen cooperatives on the island of Mindanao are participating in the project. According to WOCCU, the project in its first four years impacted nearly 168,000 members, mobilized US$22.85 million in savings and shares, and financed US$20.29 million in loans.

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