Understanding Hunger

By Bhikkhu Bodhi

More than
5 million kids
die annually from
hunger, malnutrition, and hunger-related illnesses.
That means a child is dying every 5 seconds.

The Number One Killer

What is the number one killer in the world today? Is it HIV/AIDS? War? Tuberculosis or malaria? No, the number one killer is hunger and malnutrition.

Hunger takes 25,000 lives each day. That amounts to close to 10 million lives every year; this means a Holocaust and a half annually. Almost 60% of these lives are children: a yearly toll of over 5 million kids; 13,500 children each day; a child every five seconds. And so little is needed to stop this killer in its tracks.

Why Is Hunger Still So Widespread?

About 900 million people around the world suffer from hunger. This means almost one-sixth of the world’s population faces hunger everyday, more than all the people in the U.S., Canada, and the European Union combined.

Yet, ironically, hunger does not exist because we lack food or the resources to grow food. Natural disasters, drought, war, land degradation, and poor farming practices play a role, but the most potent factor of all behind hunger is endemic poverty. When people are poor, they can’t purchase the foods they need; or if they can buy food, they can’t get enough healthy food, food rich in health-sustaining nutrients.

Poverty sets in motion a vicious cycle. Poverty breeds hunger, which leads to illness, unemployment, and early death. And when a parent dies prematurely, the family sinks into deeper poverty and into more insistent hunger.

Yet in today’s world, poverty and hunger are not inevitable. They persist, not because we lack the technologies or expertise, but because we lack the collective will, the imagination, and the compassionate intent to bring poverty to an end.

To put an end to poverty and global hunger would take just a small fraction of what we spend on military operations and weapons of destruction. The abolition of global poverty would eliminate glaring economic disparities and thereby make us all safer. It would usher in an era of joy the likes of which we can scarcely imagine. It would bring inexpressible joy as we recognize our real status as brothers and sisters with the same origins, facing a common destiny on the same planet.

Our Projects

BGR projects are designed to provide direct food aid to people afflicted by hunger and malnutrition, to promote ecologically sustainable agriculture, to support the education of girls and women, and to give women an opportunity to start right livelihood projects to support their families.


Bangladesh

FOOD SUPPORT FOR SCHOOL OF ORPHANS
Provide food supplies for 54 orphans for 12 months at The Orphan's Home in the rural Cittagong Hills region. »



 Bangladesh

EDUCATING ETHNIC MINORITY GIRLS
Provide Food Support for 106 ethnic Buddhist minority Girls at Yashodara Girl's School in Chttagong Hill Tracts. »  


Bangladesh

PERMANENT DORMITORY FOR BOY STUDENTS
Provide a permanent dormitory for 120 boys in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, a poor area affected by conflict. » 

Burma (via Thailand)

EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN OF BACKPACK MEDICS
Support education for children of backpack health workers serving displaced Burmese villagers, students and refugees. »  

Cambodia

FOOD SCHOLARSHIPS FOR GIRLS TO STAY IN SCHOOL 
Support life-transforming Girls Access To Education (GATE) program ensuring girls stay in school. »

Cambodia

CATALYZING THE POTENTIAL OF GIRLS AT THE MARGIN
Provide scholarships and related assistance for young women in nursing and other schools. » 

Cambodia

RICE INTENSIFICATION AND TRAINING IN AGRO-ECOLOGY
Engage farmers in rice intensification program, cash crop cultivation, and other related programs. » 

Cameroon

JOB TRAINING FOR SINGLE MOTHERS
Provide practical vocational training for marginalized women and for single and teenage mothers. » 

Cameroon

A FOOD PROGRAM FOR POOR CHILDREN
Provide meals at school for over 95 poor and needy children in Ebase village. » 

Cote d'Ivoire

IMPROVED NUTRITION AMONG CHILDREN AND PREGNANT WOMEN
Decrease incidence of malnutrition in children especially in the first 1,000 days of life. » 

Haiti

SCHOOL FEEDING PROGRAM IN JACMEL
Provide at least one meal per day, six days a week for students, c. 360 meals per week. » 

Haiti

IMPROVED CROP PRODUCTION AND DIVERSIFICATION
Improve rice production & backyard vegetable gardening in recently flooded Artibonite Valley. »

Haiti

MEALS FOR HUNGRY KIDS IN PORT-AU-PRINCE
Provide between 500 and 750 life-sustaining meals to children every weekday in the Ti Plas Kazo Community. » 

Haiti

A SCHOOL FOR CHILDREN IN PORT-AU-PRINCE
Support for teacher's salaries, supplies, water, & computers for school providing quality education. » 

Haiti

SUPPORTING THE NUTRITION OF POOR CHILDREN
Help to give impoverished children two healthy meals daily, and support training workshops. » 

India

GIRL'S HOME AND WOMEN'S SOCIAL SERVICE CENTER
Sponsor education for 30 teenage girls in danger of not finishing school due to poverty. » 

India

PROSPERITY THROUGH RESILIENT AGRICULTURE
Improve resilience and income for smallholder farmers, especially women, in Uttar Pradesh. » 

India

NUTRITIONAL SUPPORT FOR GARDEN OF PEACE SCHOOL
Provide uniforms, books, transportation and food for students at Garden of Peace school. » 

Jamaica & Haiti

NUTRITIOUS MORNING MEALS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
Provide nutritious morning meals for children prepared by local small businesses. » 

Kenya

IMPROVING MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH AND NUTRITION
Support proven programs that reach mothers, infants and children in need of food. » 

Kenya & Malawi

SUSTAINABLE MINI FARMING 
Training, especially for women, in biointensive farming to increase food production. » 

Nicaragua

EDUCATIONAL SPONSORSHIP OF GIRLS
Provide tuition, books, uniform with insignia and shoes, and some medical screening and treatment. » 

Sri Lanka

COMPUTER SKILLS FOR LOW INCOME GIRLS
Provide access to computer technology skills development for 60 girls from low-income families. » 

Sudan

HELPING FARMERS IN DARFUR
Address critical food insecurity with training and supplies for improved farming techniques. » 

U.S. Detroit, MI

URBAN FARMING IN DETROIT
Provide aid to 1500 urban gardens, including 400 new ones in 2017. Help sponsor 22 events . »

Vietnam

ENHANCED HOMESTEAD FOOD PRODUCTION
Train mulit-generational families to increase year-round food production improving nutrition. »

Vietnam

SYSTEM OF RICE INTENSIFICATION IN DAI TU DISTRICT
Introduce SRI to farmers to lower work burden and increase food production . »

Vietnam

MEALS FOR HOSPITAL PATIENTS IN TAM BINH HOSPITAL
Help to provide 500 vegetarian meals daily to hospital patients, total 182,000 meals per year. »

Vietnam

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR POOR CHILDREN in TAM BINH & CAM DUONG DISTRICTS
Help with fees, uniforms, books, and healthcare for over 400 K-12 students. »