Nobel Peace Prize
Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh and the Grameen Bank have been jointly awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.
Mr Yunus, an economist, founded the bank, which is one of the pioneers of micro-credit lending schemes for the poor, especially women, in Bangladesh.
Mr Yunus set up the bank in 1976 with just $27 from his own pocket. Thirty years on, the bank has 6.6 million borrowers, of which 97% are women, according to the Grameen website.
Mr Yunus, 66, said he would use the 10m Swedish kronor ($1.35m, £730,000) prize money to "find more innovative ways" to help the poor launch businesses.
The winners were revealed by the Nobel committee chairman, Ole Danbolt Mjoes, in Oslo.
Mr Mjoes said Mr Yunus had shown himself to be a leader who had managed to translate visions into practical action for the benefit of millions of people.
He and the bank were being honoured "for their efforts to create economic and social development from below", Mr Mjoes said.
He said the bank's work in creating opportunities for large numbers of people to get out of poverty created the conditions for sustainable peace.
"Development such as this is useful in human rights and democracy," said Mr Mjoes.
Story from BBC NEWS:
I'M SURE MOST OF US HAVE MORE THAN $27 TO TRANSFORM THE WORLD. We are invited to be the future... the Kingdom NOW... I'm challenged by Mr. Yunus' example - I want my life to make a difference.
Mr. Yunus believes in a future where his grandchildren will have to visit a 'poverty museum' in order to try and understand how extreme poverty happened in our world at all... I'm not sure a museum will explain it.... why does extreme poverty happen?? What can we do about it... spend you Christmas money on stuff that matters - that's a start!