Wednesday, 9 March 2011

US criticises Bangladesh over removal of Yunus from Grameen Bank

The US Government has criticised Bangladesh over the removal of Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate and micro-finance pioneer (and an Ashden Advocate), from his position as managing director of Grameen Bank.

The Financial Times reports Robert Blake, US assistant secretary of state for South Asia, saying

"This is a country that is a doing a lot of things right ... And some of their actions with respect to Grameen Bank are out of step with that."

"We thought it was important as a friend to point that out."

Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, has known Yunus for decades and, in Blake's words, has a "long and personal relationship" with him.

The Wall Street Journal points to the source of the current problems as the moment in 2007 when Yunus, after winning the Nobel Prize in 2006, made a public bid to clean up corruption in Bangladesh politics which, it is said, angered the current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Grameen Bank has more than eight million rural borrowers, who own 96.5% of the bank's share capital.

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