Muhammad Yunus
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  • "Yunus’s long-term vision is to eliminate poverty in the world. That vision cannot be realized by means of microcredit alone. But Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank have shown that, in the continuing effort to achieve it, microcredit must play a major part."
    -Nobel committee

  • "Yunus was one of the early visionaries who believed in the idea of poor people as viable, worthy, attractive clients for loans. That simple notion has put in motion a huge range of imitators and innovators who have taken that idea and run with it, improved on it, expanded it."
    -Elizabeth Littlefield, President and CEO of Overseas Private Investment Corporation

Muhammad Yunus

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNER; MICROFINANCE PIONEER; FOUNDER OF GRAMEEN BANK; MEMBER OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF UNITED NATIONS FOUNDATION
Called the "Banker to the Poor," Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus is respected around the world for his contributions toward ending world poverty. Driven by the idea that credit is a basic human right, Muhammad founded the Grameen Bank in 1976 and developed his revolutionary microcredit system, which has achieved phenomenal success in helping the 5.6 million poor people in Bangladesh gain a better quality of life. His innovative banking program provides the poor with small loans they use to launch businesses and lift their families out of poverty—all part of Muhammad's vision of total eradication of poverty from the world.

The Grameen Bank was fully established as an independent bank in 1983, and today more than 250 institutions in nearly 100 countries operate microcredit programs based on the Grameen Bank model.

Muhammad and Grameen Bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 "for their efforts to create economic and social development from below." In 2009 Muhammad was also awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, and in April 2013, a U.S. Congressional Gold Medal.

The UN Secretary-General appointed Muhammad to the International Advisory Group for the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing from 1993 to 1995. Muhammad has also served on the Global Commission of Women's Health (1993-1995), the Advisory Council for Sustainable Economic Development (1993-present), and the UN Expert Group on Women and Finance. He also serves as the chair of the Policy Advisory Group (PAG) of Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest (CGAP).


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