In awarding Friday's Nobel Peace Prize, the Nobel Foundation is shining a bright light on an increasingly powerful tool helping to eradicate poverty, micro-credit.
The banking program extends small loans and other financial services to poverty stricken people around the world. With reasonable interest rates, the loans help the poor, especially women, create income-generating activities and build adequate housing.
This year's peace prize winner, Muhammad Yunus, says the most distinctive feature of the program is that the loan is based on trust. He says that due to a system of peer support and pressure, many programs have shown that poor people have strong repayment records.
Yunus says the poor have skills that are under used or not used at all. He says unleashing the energy and creativity allowed by micro-credit is the world's answer to poverty.