Yunus on poverty

Mohammaed Yunus, accepting his 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, said:

I believe that we can create a poverty-free world because poverty is not created by poor people. It has been created and sustained by the economic and social system that we have designed for ourselves; the institutions and concepts that make up that system; the policies that we pursue.

Poverty is created because we built our theoretical framework on assumptions which under-estimates human capacity, by designing concepts, which are too narrow (such as concept of business, credit- worthiness, entrepreneurship, employment) or developing institutions, which remain half-done (such as financial institutions, where poor are left out). Poverty is caused by the failure at the conceptual level, rather than any lack of capability on the part of people….

A human being is born into this world fully equipped not only to take care of him or herself, but also to contribute to enlarging the well being of the world as a whole. Some get the chance to explore their potential to some degree, but many others never get any opportunity, during their lifetime, to unwrap the wonderful gift they were born with. They die unexplored and the world remains deprived of their creativity, and their contribution.

I thought this was a moving speech, and I'm glad that a fighter against poverty should be recognised with the Nobel Peace Prize.  And for what it is worth, while I'm a great believer in microfinance, I'm pretty sceptical about using aid or philanthropy to support it.

1 thought on “Yunus on poverty”

  1. Child Slavery Threat To Justice

    December 28th, 2006 by JohnKonop

    This was a very interesting article I found on The Conservative Voice. Do you think slave labor should be a moral issue in trade deals?

    TCV-In the US, slavery was outlawed at the national level in 1865. “Oppressive child labor” was outlawed at the US national level in 1938. Yet child labor persists around the world as national and multinational companies seek lower labor costs and greater profits. Adult consumers around the world benefit with cheap goods made with child labor.

    Will worldwide morality over this issue become so great that all countries will banish child labor forever as they did the once prevalent black slavery? Or will the benefits that accrue to consumers and corporations by child labor prevail? Will economics trump morality or not? Stanly asked

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