WASHINGTON-Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) recently submitted a statement to be inserted into the Congressional Record backing funding for international credit union development. "Mr. Speaker, more than 85 million Americans are familiar with the benefits offered by credit unions of a safe place to save, a place to get a good deal on a consumer or home mortgage loan and solid advice on how to manage their families' financial affairs," Kaptur said in the statement. "However, not everyone in the world has the same advantage of being able to choose to save and borrow at a credit union as we do here in the U.S." "I encourage Congress, through USAID and other avenues, to continue to fund international credit union development projects that promote the credit union ideal of `people helping people to help themselves,' and encourage the World Council of Credit Unions to continue its important work of making credit union membership available throughout the world, especially to those in underdeveloped countries," she continued. Kaptur met with officials from Mexico's two largest credit unions, Caja Popular Mexicana and Caja Libertad, as well as WOCCU and CUNA, in Washington last month. The Mexican credit union delegation also visited with officials from Treasury, the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and a number of other legislators. While in Washington, the officials explained the increased stability and outreach of their institutions after working with WOCCU and emphasized private sector-led credit union development. Also accompanying the Mexican credit union officials were representatives from their state league "partners." The California and Texas leagues are partnered with Caja Popular Mexicana, and Caja Libertad is paired with the Arizona Credit Union League. Kaptur's home state league of Ohio is partnered with Bolivia. WOCCU Vice President and COO Brian Branch pointed out, "This is a good example of how partnerships can broaden their cross border support for international credit union development."

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