Caterpillar charity donates $19 million to group

Associated Press

OAK BROOK, Ill. (AP) -- Caterpillar Inc.'s philanthropic arm is donating more than $19 million to a suburban Chicago organization that fights poverty in 22 countries.

Oak Brook-based Opportunity International announced in a news release on Thursday that it will use part of the money from the Caterpillar Foundation to make small business loans and provide financial training in sub-Saharan Africa. The rest of the money will be used in Indonesia, Brazil, India, China and the Philippines. The nonprofit group says the money should help it provide services to 16.7 million people.

Caterpillar Foundation President Michele Sullivan said she'd recently seen Opportunity International's work firsthand in Uganda and was impressed.

Vicki Escarra is CEO of Opportunity International. She said the organization is grateful for Caterpillar's help.