There's been a big backlash against microfinance recently, which many of you probably know. No, it's not a panacea. And no, it's not the devil.
And now political gripes in India are threatening to get Dr. Yunus ousted from the bank he founded (Grameen).
It's nice to see fellow microfinance folk standing up for his rights. See the letter below, signed by several partners to Hope Sings.
An Open Letter In Support Of Dr. Muhammad Yunus
Washington D.C., March 8, 2011 - Muhammad Yunus has diligently served the poor for decades. No one has done more to inspire generations to work to reduce poverty.
We are increasingly concerned and dismayed with the troubles Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus is facing in Bangladesh. As we understand it, the Government of Bangladesh is resorting to technicalities to remove Dr. Yunus from the Grameen Bank, without presentation through legitimate and transparent legal processes of any evidence of wrong-doing.
We deeply deplore this lack of justice and unproven allegations that not only impugn Dr. Yunus' character and the integrity of his flagship bank, but reach much further. Forced removal creates unnecessary risk for the more than 8 million borrowers-owners of the bank. The Government of Bangladesh previously had respect for the bank's independence as a majority client-owned microfinance institution; it is our sincere hope that a return to the status quo can be made quickly.
Dr. Yunus has played a seminal role in the development and recognition of microfinance — the provision of small, working-capital loans and other financial services for the entrepreneurial poor. He has our strong support, and our wishes for a just and speedy resolution to this sad turn of events.
Freedom from Hunger
Women’s World Banking