Durbin & Professor Muhammad Yunus Meet to Discuss Global Anti-Poverty Efforts

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) met today with Professor Muhammad Yunus to discuss ongoing global anti-poverty efforts. Through his Grameen Bank, Professor Yunus has pioneered the microcredit movement and helped millions of people around the world break out of poverty. In 2010, Durbin authored legislation awarding Professor Yunus the Congressional Gold Medal for his work to fight poverty and promote economic and social opportunity. The medal was formally awarded at a ceremony in 2013. A photo of today’s meeting will be available here.


“Nearly forty years ago, Dr. Muhammad Yunus loaned a group of women in Bangladesh twenty-seven dollars and sparked a dramatic shift in how we combat poverty. Since then, his theory of microenterprise has become a multi-billion dollar global phenomenon – touching the lives of people around the world,” Durbin said. “I am honored to call him a friend, and happy to learn of his efforts to eradicate poverty around the world.”


Durbin first met Professor Yunus in Bangladesh and has worked with him for more than ten years to advance microcredit and economic development in the world’s poorest nations. One of Professor Yunus’ greatest successes in recent years has been microcredit programs targeted toward poor women.  Most of these programs have repayment rates greater than 95 percent and have helped women around the world change their lives and the lives of their families. It is for these efforts that Dr. Yunus was awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.


On April 17, 2013 Durbin delivered remarks at the Congressional Gold Medal ceremony honoring Professor Yunus. The Congressional Gold Medal is the nation’s highest civilian award given to individuals who perform an outstanding deed or act of service to the security, prosperity, and national interest of the United States. Professor Yunus is only the seventh person in history to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.