Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia on Friday congratulated Mohammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank on winning the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for pioneering work against poverty, saying it was a "much awaited prize".
Khaleda said micro-credit conception is a basic innovation of Prof Yunus, which has made tremendous success in alleviating poverty in Bangladesh and elsewhere.
She said this prize was not only a great honour for Prof Yunus himself, but also a matter of pride for Bangladesh.
Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan, a childhood friend and schoolmate of Yunus, also congratulated him on winning the Nobel Peace Prize and for his service to the poorest of the poor.
"I join the nation and the world at large in congratulating you on your award of Nobel Peace Prize and your joining the distinguished club of Nobel laureates," he said.
Khan said: "The world has stood in admiration for the tremendous and selfless service that you have rendered to the poorest of the poor bringing hope to the hopeless and giving them a cause of life.
"As your childhood friend and schoolmate I feel specially elated and excited in sharing this glorious pride with you.
I pray to Almighty for your good health so that you may continue your mission for many years to come."
Yunus founded the Grameen bank, which is the pioneer of micro-credit lending schemes for the poor in Bangladesh.
The winners will receive a prize of 10 million Swedish kronor (about $1.07 million).
Nobel Committee Chairman Ole Danbolt Mjoes made the announcement in Oslo Friday.
He said Yunus and the Grameen Bank were being honoured "for their work in social and democratic development."
"Sustainable peace cannot be possible for large numbers of people (unless) they have been given the opportunity to get out of poverty," he said.
Yunus started his journey of poverty reduction when he was a teacher of Economics in Bangladesh's southeastern Chittagong University from the village Jobra, near the university in the late 1970s.
Yunus saw the poor villagers fighting for the livelihood, which inspired him to manage small credit for these poor villagers, who could run small business and earn some money to better their living standard.