Since the American Revolution, Congress has commissioned gold medals for distinguished achievements. On April 17, Congress will award the Congressional Gold Medal to an unlikely hero, the economist from Bangladesh, Professor Muhammad Yunus, for his pioneering efforts to eradicate global poverty.
Around the world, 1.2 billion people still live on less than $1.25 per day and 2.5 billion people who lack access to safe financial services. When he founded Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in 1983, Yunus created an innovative way to help millions of poor people lift themselves out of poverty by providing very small loans to mostly very poor, rural women.
I am proud that Montana’s democratic Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester, as well as former state republican Rep. Denny Rehberg, cosponsored the legislation awarding the Gold Medal to Yunus for his groundbreaking work. I am also proud to volunteer for RESULTS, a key player in promoting microfinance and this award for Yunus.
But Congress must do more than just honor Yunus’ mission; they must lead. As work begins to determine U.S. funding priorities for fiscal year 2014, Congress should aggressively fund lifesaving poverty-focused foreign assistance programs to truly move the world closer to Yunus’s vision of eradicating poverty.
Let’s galvanize our members of Congress to support this important investment around the world.
Source: Ravalli Republic