Press releases and publications

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The international media recently has been full of stories and speculation about Professor Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank. Because of false accusations against Prof. Yunus and the Bank, many of the stories were inaccurate and confused. This fact sheet contains a quick review of the events as they have happened, as well as resources for those who want to know the truth.   



Professor Yunus was invited to deliver a key note speech during the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Summit held in Nice. Speaking in front of an audience of more than 400 entrepreneurs from all G20 countries, Professor Yunus stated: “Building on 30 years of experience, and with now more than 8 million borrowers of Grameen Bank, I can say that I have always considered young entrepreneurs to be the most effective solution for the future”.

Responding to President Sarkozy’s invitation, sent last April, to collaborate within the framework of the French Presidency of the G20, Professor Yunus was invited to Paris to launch an International working Group on microfinance, ahead of the G8/G20 meeting in Cannes, to be held in November 2011.   

Friends of Grameen express their ongoing support for Professor Yunus, and insist that they will continue their efforts to ensure the independence of the Grameen Bank



Grameen Bank’s response to the various issues raised in the Bangladesh Bank’s Review Committee report as reported in the press.


Expressing his support to Professor Yunus, President Sarkozy said: “Please allow me to reiterate, once again, how much your model of a “social business” bank, which has enabled poor people in your country to widely access credit, is admired and respected in France”.


Support continues to mount, at home, but also abroad as Bangladeshi non-resident community and Spanish Government speak out against Grameen Bank attacks. 

Friends of Grameen welcome Esther Duflo and Salman Khan as members of Executive Committee.


French Foreign Affairs Minister Alain Juppé voiced the strong support of France for Muhammad Yunus and its concern over the independence of Grameen Bank.

Former French President Jacques Chirac and former French Prime Minister Michel Rocard join Honorary Committee of Friends of Grameen.

Supreme Court of Bangladesh postpones hearing on Professor Yunus.  26 members of US Congress defend the independence of Grameen Bank.  5 French personalities, including former Prime Minister Michel Rocard, express support for Grameen Bank and microcredit in Bangladesh. Author Paulo Coelho writes in support of Professor Yunus.

Friends of Grameen join others to view the Dhaka Court decision as fundamentally groundless and political, and welcome mounting support in Bangladesh.

Maria Novak : Despite the obvious, the Finance Minister has loudly stated to the international press recently that in the Government’s view, Grameen Bank was a State organ, a theme already developed by the Foreign Minister early January, to the astonishment of many, as the Government has statutorily 25% of the equity of the Bank. The source of this thinking is that there are, close to the Government, views that the vibrant social sector of Non Governmental Organizations in Bangladesh should not exist, and its task should be fully performed by the State. It is not their first attempt against the third sector.


Friends of Grameen denounces the new attempt of destabilization against Professor Yunus. The announcement by the new Chairman is without enforceability.

The Friends of Grameen are shocked and saddened that the Government-appointed Chairman of the board, Mr Muzammel Huq has openly declared his intention to remove Nobel founder of the Grameen Bank from his position. Before the board meeting, Mr Huq read out a letter from Central Bank sent to the Finance Ministry regarding the matter of the validity of the terms of Professor Yunus as Managing Director. On the basis of this letter, and arguing that he was therefore an illegal Managing Director for the Bank, Mr Huq unsuccessfully challenged the ability of Professor Yunus to participate in the board meeting.

Bangladeshi academics and professionals publish a letter of support; Kerry Kennedy and Michel Camdessus join Friends of Grameen; India former Chief of Justice Verma condemns Muzzamel Huq’s unacceptable insults against Professor Yunus.


The “Friends of Grameen” initiative was launched today. This initiative brings together NGOs, prominent public figures, and corporations, who are committed to promoting and developing microcredit and social business as crucial tools in the fight against poverty.