Muhammad Yunus and The Grameen Bank
The Nobel Peace Prize for 2006
The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2006, between Muhammad Yunus and The Grameen Bank for their efforts to create economic and social development from poverty. Lasting peace can not be achieved unless large population groups find ways in which to break out of destitution and micro-credit is one such means. Development from poverty also serves to advance democracy and human rights.
Muhammad Yunus has shown himself to be a leader who has managed to translate visions into practical action for the benefit of millions in Bangladesh and many other countries. Loans to poor people without any financial security had appeared to be an impossible idea. From modest beginnings three decades ago, Yunus has, first and foremost through Grameen Bank, developed micro-credit into an important instrument in the struggle against poverty. Grameen Bank has been the source of ideas and models for the many others that have sprung up around the world.
Every single individual on earth has the potential and the right to live a decent life. Across cultures and civilizations, Yunus and Grameen Bank have shown that even the poorest of the poor can work to bring about their own development.
Micro-credit has proved to be an important liberating force in societies where women in particular have to struggle against repressive social and economic conditions. Economic growth and political democracy can not achieve their full potential unless the female half of humanity participates on an equal footing with the male.
Yunus's long-term vision is to eliminate poverty in the world. That vision can not be realised by means of micro-credit alone. But Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank have shown that, in the continuing efforts to achieve it, micro-credit must play a major part.