Buddhist Global Relief (BGR), a socially engaged Buddhist organization based in the United States, announced that it would dedicate approximately US$50 to food aid for residents of Gaza. BGR was founded by the famous American monk Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi and has food relief projects among its main activities.
Since the start of Israeli military operations in Gaza, some 1,7 million people out of the 2,1 million people in the territory have been displaced. Food and water supplies have been severely limited, leading the United Nations (UN) to issue an urgent appeal for better access earlier this month.
“Gaza residents are at risk of starving just a few kilometers from trucks full of food,” said Cindy McCain, director of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). She added: “We can contain famine, but only if we can deliver enough supplies and have safe access to everyone who needs them, wherever they are.” (The United Nations)
Recent food aid has only reached around 8 people in need, according to the UN. Children, in particular, are at increased risk of famine and famine-related illnesses.
“Children at high risk of dying from malnutrition and disease are in desperate need of medical care, clean water and sanitation services, but conditions on the ground do not allow us to safely reach them. children and families in need,” said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell. “Some of the materials we desperately need to repair and increase the water supply still cannot enter Gaza. The lives of children and their families are at stake. Every minute counts. (The United Nations)
Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote on Facebook:
Buddha Global Relief has approved an emergency donation of $50 to help victims of the violence in Gaza. The grant was split equally between the United States World Food Program and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA). The World Food Program uses BGR funds to provide displaced people in Gaza with food parcels, wheat flour, fortified biscuits, hot meals and supplementary nutrition for pregnant and lactating women. UNRWA uses the funds to provide food aid, consisting of wheat flour and “ready-to-eat” food items. We fervently hope, as committed Buddhists, that all warring parties lay down their arms and work for peace.
BGR has recently provided food assistance to people in need in Cambodia, India, Cameroon, Mongolia, Tanzania, Sri Lanka and other countries. In a blog post announcing the donation, David Braughton, vice president of Buddha Global Relief, wrote:
Israelis have one more thing in common with Palestinians living in Gaza: they have both suffered intense psychological trauma from the horrific scenes of death and destruction, and the loss of loved ones, homes and means of subsistence. Many already suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, which will take years, if not generations, to heal.
The Buddha teaches that compassion, like suffering, does not choose sides. He extends his compassion to all in an impartial manner and invites us to follow his example. In this and all cases where hatred, greed, and delusion drive most people's responses, his followers are urged to do all they can to alleviate suffering, to feed the hungry. and care for the sick and injured, no matter who they are. are.
(World Buddhist Relief)
UN calls for radical change to ease access to relief in Gaza amid new fears of famine (UN)
Helping the hungry in Gaza (Buddhist Global Relief)
Bhikkhu Bodhi (Facebook)
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