Letter to the honorable Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, on Grameen Bank

LETTER-1

Dear Prime Minister Hasina,

As Members of the United States Congress, we write to urge you to reject the recent recommendations of the Grameen Bank Commission that would jeopardize the role Grameen Bank has played in the critical fight to end poverty in Bangladesh. Grameen Bank has delivered a profound and lasting benefit to the people of Bangladesh. It has allowed millions to lift themselves and their families out of poverty and destitution, creating an independent, borrower-run company that is a model for non-governmental organizations across the globe. Its borrowers 97 percent of whom are women — have demonstrated the power of an economic model centered on equality and inclusion.

Both Bangladesh and the international community have a compelling interest in the safety and soundness of Grameen Bank. However, we are profoundly troubled by recent proposals that would fundamentally alter the future of this Nobel Prize-winning institution.

The Grameen Bank Commission, which was created in May 2012 to offer guidance on the future of Grameen Bank, recently provided the Bangladeshi government with several sets of recommendations. One set would disenfranchise nearly 5 million borrower-shareholders in Grameen Bank and dismiss the borrowers who sit on the Bank’s Board of Directors, replacing them with government officials. A second equally devastating set would give the government a formal majority stake in Grameen Bank, or would break the Bank apart into separate entities with no legal relationship between them.

Yunus Meets Business Leaders in Japan and South Korea

Governor-ShuichiNobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus visited Osaka, Japan from July 26-27. Prior to that he visited Seoul, S. Korea on July 25-26.

Among many other meetings in Osaka, top wealthy business people of Osaka met Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus in two separate meetings to explore the possibilities of   investing in Social Businesses in Japan and elsewhere. The meeting was organized by an international bank. A giant shopping-mall chain expressed its interest to initiate a discussion to create a joint venture social business with Yunus Centre.

In a separate event, Professor Muhammad Yunus addressed nearly a thousand students coming from universities in Osaka and from far away universities. He also addressed a daylong meeting of top women entrepreneurs in Osaka and discussed their participation in social business.

Professor Yunus launches $ 4.5 Million Social Business Fund in Mexico, visits Grameen Microcredit Program in Oaxaca

pmy-mexico

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus has been on a three day visit to Mexico from 17-20 July. He visited Veracruz, third richest state of Mexico , at the invitation of the Governor of the state, Javier Duarte de Ochoa.The Governor organized an open air gala event at the historical spot at the port area where Spanish traders first set foot on the Latin American continent to give a formal reception to Professor Yunus. The event was attended by the mayors of various leading cities, members of the state legislative assembly, business leaders, and academics. The Governor brought Professor Yunus with him from Xalapa, the capital of the state, in his official helicopter. During his speech at the ceremony Governor, Javier Duarte de Ochoa announced that with his discussion with Professor Yunus that he is convinced about social business and announced his decision to launch social business in his state by making a grant of $ 4.5 million to Yunus Social Business Fund to be created by Professor Yunus in Veracruz within next three months. As soon as the fund is created the grant money will be transferred to the fund to launch social businesses without delay.

USAID Signs Up to Join Social Business Movement

Yunus USAID

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus and Dr Raj Shah, Administrator of USAID, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 22 July 2013 in a ceremony attended by high officials of USAID at Washington D.C to collaborate in promoting social business in various countries.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has signed between The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Yunus Social Business (YSB) affirming their common interest in fostering market-based solutions to the critical social and economic challenges facing the World’s poor.

USAID and YSB will work together to promote entrepreneurship and the development of “Social Business” in vulnerable and under-served communities around the world in an effort to promote lasting and positive social, economic and environment development.

Rejoinder to Honorable Prime Ministers’ Comments on Professor Muhammad Yunus

hasina-yunusSeveral newspapers have reported that Honorable Prime Minister made some comments about Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus on July 11, 2013 during a high level meeting at Ganabhaban with the leadership of her Party, Members of Parliament, and  Ministers. Honorable Prime Minister raised a number of complaints about Professor Muhammad Yunus. The complaints are completely false.

The people of the country have been shocked by the comments of Honorable Prime Minister. We had hoped that the Prime Minister would have disowned the reports in the newspapers, and say that she did not say anything of this kind. But five days have passed, and she has not disowned these reports.  We are therefore compelled to give our rejoinder.

There are important implications of Honorable Prime Minister’s comments for the country and personally for Professor Yunus which create wrong impressions about him in the minds of  people. We are protesting these comments for this reason.

Please find below responses to the Prime Minister’s Allegations from Yunus Centre:

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