Bangladeshi Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize yesterday for their work in advancing economic and social opportunities.
The economist and his bank, who will share the prize, were cited for their efforts to help "create economic and social development from below" in their home country by using innovative economic programs such as microcredit lending.
"Every single individual on earth has both the potential and the right to live a decent life. Across cultures and civilizations, Yunus and Grameen Bank have shown that even the poorest of the poor can work to bring about their own development," the Nobel Committee said in its citation.
Yunus has drawn praise for advancing microcredit which has been credited with helping poor women to advance their lives and pull them out of poverty.
"Economic growth and political democracy can not achieve their full potential unless the female half of humanity participates on an equal footing with the male," the committee said.