July 30, 2009 - 994 Laureate Muhammad Yunus named recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom
Dr. Yunus also received Nobel Peace Prize in 2006
July 30, 2009 - - President Barack Obama has named former World Food Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus a recipient of the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Calling Dr. Yunus "a global leader in anti-poverty efforts," the White House pointed to his pioneering use of micro-credit with the Grameen Bank. It was this novel program of no-collateral micro-loans to millions of impoverished, undernourished, and disenfranchised families throughout Bangladesh that led to Dr. Yunus' 1994 World Food Prize, his first international recognition.
Those receiving Dr. Yunus' loans are able to gain access to adequate food and nutrition, giving them the health necessary to obtain education, employment, and long-term security. The Grameen Bank has been an incredible success, with 98% of its loans repaid. Dr. Yunus and the Grameen Bank were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.
According to the White House, the Presidential Medal of Freedom "is awarded to individuals who make an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors." Read the White House press release here.
More on Muhammad Yunus here.