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latest news > news in brief > Microcredit Pioneer Wins Peace Nobel

Microcredit Pioneer Wins Peace Nobel

26 October 2006

Longtime IDRC partner Muhammad Yunus was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on 13 October 2006 for his work in advancing economic and social opportunities for the poor, especially women. Yunus shares the award with the bank he founded, the Grameen Bank, which has been instrumental in helping millions of poor Bangladeshis, many of them women, improve their lives by lending them small sums to start businesses.

Muhammad Yunus’ bank has gone from loaning poor women money to buy chickens and cows to financing the largest mobile telephone company in the region. IDRC has collaborated with Yunus and Grameen on a number of projects linking the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to poverty reduction.

For example, IDRC’s support to the Village Internet Program built up the bank’s intra-national communications, in particular to its rural offices. The Grameen Trust Library was provided with a 24-hour line, which gave library users access to Internet and email. Subsidized Internet connections were provided to some schools. A village Internet program was piloted in Madhupur, Tangail district. And, in an innovative experiment, the project team successfully provided Internet connection to a village without telephone service via mobile telephone. Read:

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