Saturday, October 14, 2006

Proving the Impossible

"He proved the impossible: that the poor were bankable."JONATHAN J. MORDUCH, an economics professor at New York University, on Muhammad Yunus, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for pioneering work in giving tiny loans to millions of poor people.

Encouraging news that the 66-year-old Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize yesterday for his pioneering work in giving small, even tiny loans to millions of poor people no bank would touch. By empowering destitute widows, abandoned wives, landless laborers and rickshaw drivers, sweepers and beggers, Yunus has made great strides in combating rural poverty in his own country and inspiring similar programs across the developing world.

“Microcredit has proved to be an important liberating force in societies where women in particular have to struggle against repressive social and economic conditions,” the committee said in announcing the prize.

Mr. Yunus has long been an influential champion of the idea that even the most impoverished people have the drive and creativity to build small businesses with loans as small as $12, and Grameen Bank has dedicated itself to helping the poorest of the poor.

Go Mr. Yunus.

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