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Bangladeshi Economist Claims Nobel Peace Prize

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Bangladeshi Economist Claims Nobel Peace Prize

World

Bangladeshi Economist Claims Nobel Peace Prize

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ANDREA SEABROOK, host:

This year's Nobel Peace Prize was announced in Stockholm, Sweden today.

Unidentified Man: I call upon the Nobel Peace Prize laureate for 2006, Mohammed Yunus, to come forward to receive the gold medal and the diploma.

(Soundbite of applause)

SEABROOK: Mohammed Yunus is an economist from Bangladesh, the country's first Nobel laureate. He urged world leaders to fight poverty and stop spending money on wars. Yunus and the Gramine Bank were awarded the prize for their work to end poverty by granting small loans to the poorest people. Many of the recipients have been women in rural Bangladesh who otherwise had no access to credit. They used the money to start small businesses such as chicken farms or basket weaving. The bank has been a modern - a model for a global movement known as microcredit.

In his acceptance speech, Yunus said there is a clear link between fighting poverty and a peaceful world. He said at the beginning of the new millennium, world leaders set a goal of cutting poverty in half by 2015, but, he went on, then came September 11 and the Iraq war, and suddenly the world became derailed from the pursuit of this dream, with the attention of world leaders shifting from the war on poverty to the war on terrorism.

Yunus said that terrorism must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. But the war must tackle its root causes.

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