Vol. 5 Num 858 Mon. October 23, 2006  

Citigroup supporting Grameen Bank since 1997
Congratulating Professor Muhammad Yunus for winning this year's Nobel Peace Prize, Citigroup said it has been supporting Grameen Bank since 1997 through Grameen Foundation USA and Grameen Trust, the international replication arm of Grameen Bank, with Citigroup Foundation grants around US$ 3 million, as well through commercial activities.

During the Asian financial crisis, Citigroup was Grameen's first major international donor to start-up or upscale many microfinance institutions in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea and Thailand that have helped to lift millions out of poverty, says a press release.

In 2005, Citigroup and Grameen Foundation USA launched an innovative US$50 million structured finance programme to provide poverty-focused microfinance institutions with local currency funding and market access either through direct lending or capital market solutions.

In February this year, a three-year US$250,000 Citigroup Foundation grant was announced for Grameen Trust's `Project Dignity' initiative. This innovative pilot programme is helping to reach thousands of beggars in Bangladesh.

Citigroup's support of the microfinance sector started over 25 years ago with its first grant. Over the last five years, the Citigroup Foundation has given nearly US$27 million to support microfinance programmes and organisations in more than 50 countries.

Citigroup was among the first companies to congratulate Professor Muhammad Yunus after he was awarded this year's Nobel Peace Prize for his pioneering work in microfinance.

Mamun Rashid, Citigroup Bangladesh country officer, presented a congratulatory bouquet to Professor Yunus on behalf of Citigroup during a grand reception held for the Nobel laureate at the China-Bangladesh Friendship Center in Dhaka last week.