South Asia

Micro-credit pioneer Yunus to star on The Simpsons

Bart Simpson cut-out in Los Angeles - 25 April 2005
Image caption Pop stars and well-known politicians have all appeared on The Simpsons

The Bangladeshi anti-poverty banker Muhammad Yunus is to feature in an episode of hit US TV show The Simpsons.

Mr Yunus's appearance will focus on his Grameen Bank and work on micro-credit, which has helped millions of people lift themselves out of poverty.

The Nobel laureate's voice has already been recorded for the episode, which will air in October.

The Simpsons regularly attracts big-name guests such as Elton John, Stephen Hawking and Tony Blair.

Yeardley Smith, who voices the character of Lisa Simpson, has already spent a week in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka studying the Grameen Bank.

She is a long-time admirer of Mr Yunus and has visited Grameen micro-credit programmes in Haiti and elsewhere.

Mr Yunus and his Grameen Bank were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for pioneering the concept of micro-credit - lending small amounts to the poor to help them start up businesses to get out of poverty.

He started it in 1976 by lending $27 (£17) to a group of families in a village.

Grameen is now a billion-dollar micro-credit venture with more than eight million borrowers in Bangladesh alone.

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