The Nobel Peace Prize 2006 has been given to Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank in Bangladesh for their efforts to create economic and social development from below.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee made the announcement on Friday.
In its press release, the Nobel Committee says "lasting peace can not be achieved unless large population groups find ways in which to break out of poverty. Micro-credit is one such means. Development from below 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 of people, not only in Bangladesh, but also in 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 ever more important instrument in the struggle against poverty. Grameen Bank has been a source of ideas and models for many institutions in the field of micro-credit that have sprung up around the world.
"Every single individual on earth has both 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. " says the citation from the Nobel Committee in Norway.
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 the Grameen Bank have shown that, in the continuing efforts to achieve it, micro-credit must play a major part. " says the citation.
Muhammad Yunus found the Grameen Bank in 1976. And the micro-credit model has been spread in Asia and many other places.
By now, all the Nobel Prize in 2006 has been anounced with five scientists from the US won the Physiology or Medicine, Physics and Chemistry prizes, Orhan Pamuk from Turkey winning the Literature prize and Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank from Bangladesh winning the Peace prize for their creation of Micro-credit loans for poverty alleviation.
Each prize will be 10 million Swedish Kronor or about 1.37 million US dollars and the award-issuing ceremony will be held on December 10. The first Nobel Prize was issued in 1901.
By Chen Xuefei, People's Daily Online Stockholm Correspondent.