Donation marks 10 years of support for rural electrification projects in developing countries through NRECA International.
CoBank, a cooperative bank serving the electric industry, agribusinesses, rural infrastructure providers and Farm Credit associations throughout the United States, today announced that it will contribute $250,000 to support NRECA International’s rural electrification projects in developing countries. This year’s donation marks the 10th consecutive year that CoBank has supported NRECA International, totaling over $2 million in contributions since 2011.
“CoBank is thankful that NRECA International has the determination and grit to move these programs forward in 2021 despite the challenges created by the global pandemic,” said Thomas Halverson, president and chief executive officer of CoBank. “The need to provide rural communities with access to safe, reliable and affordable electricity is greater than ever and we are proud to help fund NRECA International’s initiatives.”
This year’s donation will be used to fund the construction of a solar-powered mini grid for a rural village in Western Uganda. When complete, more than 500 people will have first time access to electricity. The grid will be managed by a local rural electric cooperative and will provide power to 115 homes, two schools and two grain processing mills.
Additionally, the donation will support communities and electric co-ops around the world through NRECA International’s Empowering Small Businesses to Strengthen Communities fundraising campaign. This campaign focuses on implementing productive use of electricity programs, to provide a new wave of entrepreneurs, especially women, with the means and knowledge to generate income using electricity.
“The decade of very generous CoBank support has allowed NRECA International to bring power to more than 4,500 people living in three dozen rural and remote communities around the globe,” said Dan Waddle, senior vice president, NRECA International. “We are deeply grateful for their belief in our mission and ongoing generosity. We look forward to our continued partnership and the opportunities it will create for rural communities around the world.”
Serving as a non-profit corporation, NRECA International is an affiliate of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, a national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives across the United States. CoBank’s support helps to bring NRECA International’s global rural electrification projects to fruition and supports the volunteer efforts of U.S.-based rural electric cooperatives that generously donate the time and expertise of their own employees to help transition many of these projects from opportunity to reality. A portion of CoBank’s financial gifts help to defray the total cost of volunteer projects, thus reducing the amount of financial support each cooperative is required to provide on their own.
CoBank is a $159 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving more than 75,000 farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country.
CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture, rural infrastructure and rural communities. Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves customers from regional banking centers across the U.S. and also maintains an international representative office in Singapore.