From Asia News: Nobel Peace Prize goes to Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus. Those of you who have followed my blog for anytime are aware of my interest in micro-finance. My link to Kiva in the right column of blog is just one organization involved in micro-finance. This article is about the founder of the micro-finance movement and his Nobel Prize recognition.
Dhaka (AsiaNews) – Bangladesh's Muhammad Yunus, 66, the inventor of micro-credit and founder of Grameen Bank (Villages’ Bank in Bangla), has been awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. PIME missionaries operating for years in the country explain that the choice of Yunus is doubly significant. On the one hand, there are the positive financial and economic aspects to his ‘invention’; on the other, there are the moral and human components closely linked to Yunus himself, “a man of upstanding character, source of hope for all those who are honest”. But they warn to beware “of not idealising” everything.
Micro-credit is based on small loans without collateral given to the poor to help them finance their small-scale activities. Founded in 1983, the Grameen Bank now has more than a thousand branches with 12,500 employees. It has 2.1 million clients in 37,000 villages; 94 per cent are women.