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Congratulations to Muhammad Yunus

16 October 2006

16 October 2006 

The World Council of Churches sends its hearty congratulations to Mr Muhammad Yunus for the award of the Nobel Peace Prize 2006.  

Mr Yunus, an economist and banker from Bangladesh, is the founder of Grameen Bank and made himself known internationally by making loans available to small entrepreneurs who were too poor to qualify for loans through the traditional banking system. The Grameen model of microfinancing was successfully adopted by other countries of the South, bringing relief to small businesses. 

The award to Mr Yunus is not only a recognition of his creative genius in promoting his concept of microcredit but also testifies to the fact that genuine economic and social development has to grow from below if it is to be accessible for the people. The efforts and hard work put in by Mr Muhammad Yunus is bringing hope to the poor and economically and socially marginalised. His pursuits are in keeping with the aims and purposes of the ecumenical movement. Two ecumenical initiatives whose roots lie in the "social gospel" of the World Council of Churches and operate on similar principles as the Grameen Bank are Oikocredit and the Ecumenical Church Loan Fund (ECLOF).  

The World Council of Churches, through its programme activities on economic justice, contributes to this enhancement of life by improving people's economic welfare by broadening opportunities and solidarity linkages and for enrichment of life through the deepening of people's spirituality and the upholding of just and sustainable communities. 

The award of the Nobel Prize for Peace to Mr Muhammad Yunus gives the Council an opportunity to thank him in his painstaking endeavours to give hope to people's aspirations. The World Council of Churches wishes him well in his future as he continues to serve the needy and deserving millions in our societies.

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