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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

October 15, 2006

Written by C.N.

Bangladeshi Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Earlier today, it was announced that the winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize is Muhammad Yunus, a Bangladeshi economist whose bank has been instrumental in facilitating small business ownership and reducing poverty in Bangladesh:

Muhammad Yunus . . . pioneered the use of microcredit, the extension of small loans to benefit poor entrepreneurs. Grameen Bank has been instrumental in helping millions of poor Bangladeshis, many of them women, improve their standard of living by letting them borrow tiny sums to start businesses.

Loans go toward buying items such as cows to start a dairy, chickens for an egg business, or cell phones to start businesses where villagers who have no access to phones pay a small fee to make calls. “Lasting peace can not be achieved unless large population groups find ways in which to break out of poverty,” the Nobel Committee said. . . .

Yunus founded Grameen Bank in 1976, after lending $27 out of his pocket to help 42 women in Bangladesh buy weaving stools. . . . Today the bank claims to have 6.6 million borrowers, 97 percent of whom are women, and provides services in more than 70,000 villages in Bangladesh. Its model of micro-financing has inspired similar efforts around the world.

Congratulations to Mr. Yunus and the entire nation of Bangladesh for this inspiring example of how a little generosity can go a long way, in terms of reducing poverty and elevating the morale of an entire nation. I hope this achievement stands as an example that other countries, financial institutions, and affluent individuals to follow.


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Copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le. Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Bangladeshi Wins Nobel Peace Prize" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2006/10/bangladeshi-wins-nobel-peace-prize/> ().

Short URL: http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/?p=313