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TEAR Fund hails Muhammad Yunus’ Nobel Peace Prize

TEAR Fund Press Release

For Immediate Release: 20/10/06

TEAR Fund hails Muhammad Yunus’ Nobel Peace Prize

Aid organisation TEAR Fund New Zealand is hailing the decision by the Nobel Committee to award Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus the Peace Prize.

During the 1970s Muhammad Yunus discovered by loaning small amounts of money to the poor – amounts too minute for banks to take any interest – he could empower the poverty stricken to build small businesses. This revolution in poverty alleviation became to be known as Microenterprise, and today has benefited millions of people around the world.

TEAR Fund Development Manager Richard Barter says Microenterprise has also tackled the root cause of many violent conflicts.

“Poverty breeds discontent. Discontent is the raw material for those who use violence for political gain. Microenterprise goes to the core of eliminating poverty through the disbursement of small business loans and training to overcome community problems too big for individuals to address,” says Mr. Barter.

“This Nobel award is really about peace making. Try to convince a young man to pick up a gun when he has a thriving small business and hope for a better future for his family. You will have a challenge on your hands.”

Richard Barter explains he met Yunus in the Ivory Coast.

“He was a man who emanated a deep understanding of what makes society succeed economically,” says Mr. Barter.

“TEAR Fund’s many supporters in New Zealand, through fund revolving loans, have empowered thousands of poor families in South East Asia, Africa and South America. Their gifts are used over and over as the loans are repaid and lent again.”

ENDS

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