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Queen Sofia brings hope to Bangladeshi women

February 16, 2004
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Spain's Queen Sofia has been visiting development projects in Bangladesh as part of a four-day visit to the impoverished country. The Spanish royal arrived at the weekend to take part in the Asia Pacific Regional Summit on Microcredit, which is fighting poverty in the third world.

A long-time supporter of microcredit, Sofia came along to address the summit and redouble her efforts to empower impoverished women. It's been four years since she came to Bangladesh to meet with the economist Mohamed Yunus, whose Grameen Bank is also known as the "Bank Of The Poor".

His organisation supports development projects by giving credit to some of the country's most needy communities. On that occasion an agreement was signed between the Spanish government and the Grameen Bank to boost development in the beleaguered region.

Four years later Sofia has returned to see the achievements of that programme. And there was little doubt about its positive impact after Sofia chatted with the workers and families who have benefited from the scheme.

Over the course of its four days, some 1,300 delegates from 44 countries took part in the gathering. The APRSM is aiming to help 100 million of the world's poorest people work their way out of poverty by the end of 2009.

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Photo: AFP
The influence of high-tech communication has clearly found its way to this community in Bangladesh. Queen Sofia came to Dhaka to take part in the Microcredit Summit, which is aiming to fight poverty in the region
Photo: AFP
The Spanish royal also inspected the work of local artisans. This woman in the village of Taposkoni showed her how to make a traditional chair

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