Eduardo J. Padrón
Office of the President
300 N.E. Second Avenue
Miami, Florida 33132-2297
Message From the President
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
MDC dialogue on Haiti welcomes Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus and U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce Francisco Sanchez
The College hosted one of the world’s great humanitarians, Muhammad Yunus, recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the innovative Grameen Bank (GB). Dr. Yunus was joined by Francisco Sanchez, U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, and along with several business and finance leaders, focused attention on the development needs of our neighbors in Haiti.
Dr. Yunus believes that the approach of the Grameen Bank holds great promise for the people of Haiti. Founded in Bangladesh, Grameen Bank has demonstrated the viability of microcredit and microfinance, small loans extended to those in poverty to spur entrepreneurship, income and productivity.
To date, GB has engaged with 8.29 million borrowers, 97% of whom are women. The loans total $9.54 billion, $8.5 billion of which has been repaid. A recent study revealed that 68% of borrowers’ families have crossed the poverty line.
It was my great honor to present Dr. Yunus with MDC’s Presidential Medal, the same honor afforded Lech Walesa, Mikhail Gorbachev and President Clinton. Dr. Yunus’ attention to the needs of Haiti, combined with the efforts of the International Trade Administration, form a significant advance toward Haiti’s recovery.