Villages that Work
When most of us think of hunger, we think of Africa. Yet, there are more hungry people in Bangladesh and India than in all African nations combined. Despite rapid economic growth in South Asia's urbanized sector, 40 percent of children under five in South Asia are malnourished -- a rate much higher than in sub-Saharan Africa -- due to deeply entrenched social conditions, particularly gender discrimination.
Bangladesh and India have a great strength that is missing in most of Africa -- constitutionally mandated elected village councils for meeting basic needs, which are based on ancient traditions of local self-government. The infrastructure to achieve the end of hunger is there, as long as it can be made to work.
The Hunger Project has pioneered strategies in Bangladesh and India to transform the social conditions that give rise to poverty and to make village self-governance work. Against all odds and in the face of centuries of subjugation, women are empowered to be the key change agents in this process.