2006 Nobel Peace Prize

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2006 Nobel Peace Prize

The 2006 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank "for their efforts through microcredit to create economic and social development from below".[1]

Muhammad Yunus[edit]

Muhammad Yunus at the Grand Hotel in Oslo, Norway
Muhammad Yunus at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Yunus was awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, along with Grameen Bank, for their efforts to create economic and social development. In the prize announcement The Norwegian Nobel Committee mentioned:[2]

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.

Yunus was the first Bangladeshi to ever get a Nobel Prize. After receiving the news of the important award, Yunus announced that he would use part of his share of the $1.4 million award money to create a company to make low-cost, high-nutrition food for the poor; while the rest would go toward setting up an eye hospital for the poor in Bangladesh.[3]

Former U.S. president Bill Clinton was a vocal advocate for the awarding of the Nobel Prize to Yunus. He expressed this in Rolling Stone magazine[4] as well as in his autobiography My Life.[5] In a speech given at University of California, Berkeley in 2002, President Clinton described Yunus as "a man who long ago should have won the Nobel Prize [and] I’ll keep saying that until they finally give it to him."[6] Conversely, The Economist stated explicitly that Yunus was a poor choice for the award, stating: "...the Nobel committee could have made a braver, more difficult, choice by declaring that there would be no recipient at all."[7]

He is one of only seven persons to have won the Nobel Peace Prize, Presidential Medal of Freedom,[8] and the Congressional Gold Medal.[9] Other notable awards include the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1984,[10] the World Food Prize,[11] the International Simon Bolivar Prize (1996),[12] the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord[13] and the Sydney Peace Prize in 1998,[14] and the Seoul Peace Prize in 2006. Additionally, Yunus has been awarded 50 honorary doctorate degrees from universities across 20 countries, and 113 international awards from 26 different countries including state honours from 10 countries.[15] Bangladesh government brought out a commemorative stamp to honour his Nobel Award.[16]


  1. ^ "The Nobel Peace Prize for 2006". Oslo: The Norwegian Nobel Committee. 13 October 2006. Archived from the original on 28 November 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
  2. ^ "The Nobel Peace Prize for 2006". NobelPrize.org. 13 October 2006. Retrieved 13 October 2006.
  3. ^ "Yunus wins peace Nobel for anti-poverty efforts". Associated Press. 13 October 2006. Retrieved 16 August 2007.
  4. ^ Boulden, Jim (29 March 2001). "The birth of micro credit". Europe/Business. CNN. Retrieved 19 August 2007.
  5. ^ Clinton, Bill (2004). My Life: The Presidential Years. New York, Knopf.: Vintage Books. p. 329. ISBN 0-375-41457-6. Muhammad Yunus should have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics years ago.
  6. ^ Ainsworth, Diane (29 January 2002). "Transcript of the Jan. 29, 2002 talk by former President Bill Clinton at the University of California, Berkeley". Clinton: education, economic development key to building a peaceful, global village. UC Regents. Retrieved 22 August 2007.
  7. ^ "Losing Its Lustre". Economist. 13 October 2006. Retrieved 28 June 2008.
  8. ^ "President Obama Names Medal of Freedom Recipients" Archived 2009-12-15 at the Wayback Machine, White House Office of the Press Secretary, 30 July 2009
  9. ^ http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ253/pdf/PLAW-111publ253.pdf
  10. ^ Ramon Magsaysay Award, 1984: Citation for Muhammad Yunus Archived 2012-05-09 at the Wayback Machine; Retrieved: 1 September 2007
  11. ^ "Dr. Muhammad Yunus – 1994 World Food Prize Laureate". WorldFoodPrize.org. Archived from the original on 24 August 2007. Retrieved 29 August 2007.
  13. ^ "Nicolás Castellanos, Vicente Ferrer, Joaquín Sanz Gadea and Muhammad Yunus, 1998 Prince of Asturias Award for Concord". Fpa.es. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  14. ^ "1998 Professor Muhammed Yunus". Sydney Peace Foundation. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  15. ^ Lists of his awards are found at Yunus Centre website Archived 2013-01-15 at the Wayback Machine, his personal website Archived 2012-08-02 at Archive.today, and his profile at Bangladesh News website Archived 2013-06-27 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ Sydney Peace Prize recipients, Sydney Peace Prize Foundation website; Retrieved: 9 September 2007