*This press release was distributed by CoBank on March 6, 2023.
CoBank continues its support for rural electrification projects in developing countries through NRECA International
DENVER (March 06, 2023) — CoBank, a cooperative bank serving the electric industry, agribusinesses, rural infrastructure providers and Farm Credit associations throughout the United States, has contributed $250,000 in support of NRECA International’s rural electrification projects in developing countries. This is the 12th consecutive year CoBank has donated to NRECA International, totaling $2.5 million in collective contributions.
NRECA International has helped more than 160 million people worldwide, improving their quality of life by providing access to safe, reliable and affordable electricity.
“CoBank is honored to continue our support of NRECA International to help empower communities across the globe, bringing them a better quality of life through electrification. Access to electricity is a catalyst for development, positively changing outcomes and livelihoods. It aids in health care, it creates longer life expectancies and it assists in higher literacy levels,” said Thomas Halverson, president and chief executive officer of CoBank. “Electrification also empowers the economy – dramatically impacting the industrialization of rural communities by creating new jobs and industries. We are so proud to help NRECA International fund these initiatives.”
This year’s donation will be used to continue the support for electrification projects in Guatemala. For over a decade, electric cooperatives across country have joined NRECA International to bring power to more than 8,000 Guatemalans – significantly brightening their futures.
When the Guatemalan project initially began in 1987, just 45% of the homes in Guatemala had electric service, with only 10% of rural areas receiving service. Today, Guatemala has electricity service for 92% of all households and businesses – however there are scattered housing clusters and small villages in the more remote, mountainous villages throughout Guatemala that still need electricity.
This year, NRECA International will be partnering with PWI Global of Heifer International to bring power to more than 1,200 farmers, wiring approximately 200 homes for electricity. A portion of CoBank’s donation will also flow to this project.
“We help communities unlock their potential to build their future,” said Dan Waddle, senior vice president, NRECA International. “These are values we share with CoBank, and we are deeply grateful for their generous support for the past 12 years. 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.