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WASHINGTON-The House Financial Services Domestic and International Monetary Policy Subcommittee held an oversight hearing June 11 to determine the importance S. 571, the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003, will place on transparency and accountability. The legislation is aimed at reducing global poverty through economic growth and development. It would establish the Millennium Challenge Corporation to provide grants to eligible nations for technical assistance in developing a contract with the U.S., financial management, and evaluation of programs. Eligible nations must suffer significant poverty, be committed to `just and democratic governance,’ work toward economic freedom and invest in its people. In May, CUNA and the World Council of Credit Unions wrote the House International Relations Committee on the eve of its hearing emphasizing credit unions’ “vital role” in stimulating economic growth in low-income communities. It also stressed the need for non-governmental organizations and private entities, including credit unions, to have the opportunity to submit ideas for grants. Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs John Taylor, State Department Under Secretary for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs Alan Larson, and U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Andrew S. Natsios were scheduled to testify.

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