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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 December 2006, 14:08 GMT
Anti-poverty banker accepts Nobel
Muhammad Yunus
Mr Yunus was honoured for his pioneering work against poverty

Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank have received the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony in the Norwegian capital Oslo.

Mr Yunus founded the bank, which helps people out of poverty by giving them small, usually unsecured loans.

Mr Yunus, 66, said he would use the 10m Swedish kronor ($1.35m, 730,000) prize money to "find more innovative ways" to help the poor launch businesses.

"Poverty is a threat to peace," he told the awards ceremony.

"The frustrations, hostility and anger generated by abject poverty cannot sustain peace in any society in the world."

He added that while terrorism had to be condemned "in the strongest language", the world needed to tackle its root causes.

"I believe that putting resources into improving the lives of the poor people is a better strategy than spending it on guns," Mr Yunus said.

MUHAMMAD YUNUS
Bangladeshi economist
Founded concept of micro-credit
Started Grameen Bank in 1976

He set up the Grameen Bank in 1976 with just $27 from his own pocket. Thirty years on, it has 6.6 million borrowers, of which 97% are women, according to the bank's website.

Nobel prizes are always presented on the 10 December anniversary of the death of their creator, Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel.

Mr Yunus, the first Nobel laureate from Bangladesh, was accompanied by bank board member Mosammat Taslima Begum at the ceremony.

Norwegian Nobel Committee chairman Ole Danbolt Mjoes said that by giving the award to Mr Yunus, the group wanted to highlight not only the fight against poverty, but also dialogue with the Muslim world and the need to empower women.

"Micro-credit has proved itself to be a liberating force in societies where women in particular have to struggle against repressive social and economic conditions," he said.


SEE ALSO
Q&A: So what is microfinancing?
13 Oct 06 |  Business
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