Muhammad Yunus, the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner, attended the unveiling of a “Nobel Chair” in his honor, accompanied by various government officials, at National Central University (CNU) in Taoyuan County yesterday.
The ceremony dedicated to the Bangladeshi famous for his book Banker to the Poor was presided over by university president Jou Jing-yang (周景揚).
Taoyuan County Commissioner John Wu (吳志揚) hailed Yunus’ “micro-loan” concept and the positive impact it has had on underprivileged and disadvantaged minorities.
“Many countries — including Taiwan — have similar measures in place, but lack effective policies for their implementation,” Wu said.
He added that starting this year, Taoyuan would attempt to follow the example set in Yunus’ book and begin providing residents with microinsurance.
Underprivileged families has to pay only NT$180 a year to receive potential coverage of up to NT$300,000, he said.
Although it is not much, the amount would still go a long way toward assisting needy families at critical times, he said.
Wu said several Taiwanese temples have long upheld traditions of providing small loans to those in need, mirroring the idea of Yunus’ “bank for the poor.”
Meanwhile, the university and the Bangladesh-based Yunus Centre announced the establishment of the Yunus Social Business Center at the university, which will work jointly with the Yunus Centre Taiwan to conduct research on social businesses, defined as companies that are established for the benefit of society, rather than for private profit.