For the first time ever, a financial institution has won the Nobel Peace Prize, in The New York Times:
Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank he founded won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for their pioneering use of tiny, seemingly insignificant loans — microcredit — to lift millions out of poverty.
Through Yunus’s efforts and those of the bank he founded, poor people around the world, especially women, have been able to buy cows, a few chickens or the cell phone they desperately needed to get ahead.
The 65-year-old economist said 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. The rest would go toward setting up an eye hospital for the poor in Bangladesh, he said.
The food company, to be known as Social Business Enterprise, will sell food for a nominal price, he said.
”Lasting peace cannot be achieved unless large population groups find ways in which to break out of poverty,” the Nobel Committee said in its citation. ”Microcredit is one such means. Development from below also serves to advance democracy and human rights.”
(The announcement from the Nobel Institute can be found here.)