Abolishing hunger for 842 million people worldwide may seem like a daunting goal. After all, according to the World Food Program, hunger accounts for more deaths annually than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. However, both research and reality have shown that measurable progress can be made, often with simple initiatives and small donations.

For those individuals, organizations and governmental bodies that need encouragement in their efforts to end world hunger, here is some good news:

1. The number of hungry people in the world (842 million currently) has dropped by 156 million in the last 20 years.

There is still much work to be done, but these figures are important, in part because they show that hunger is not an insurmountable problem. A concerted effort by the international community against hunger will have impact.

2. Compared to other global initiatives undertaken by the United States, ending hunger worldwide is relatively inexpensive.

According to the UN, feeding the 66 million children throughout the world who go to school hungry each day would cost the United States $3.2 billion. In comparison, $751 billion was spent on the Iraq War and $700 billion on the Wall Street rescue plan.

3. There are also easy, inexpensive ways for people to contribute to the cause individually.

Many relief organizations have programs that are capable of providing substantial aid to the world’s hungry for minimal financial donations. For example, the World Food Program, with a donation of just one dollar, is able to provide four children with nutritious meals. Donations – made with a mouse click – are easy, cheap and have an almost immediate impact.

4. Often, eliminating hunger within a community can be as simple as educating people about sustainable agricultural methods and equipping them to practice those methods.

Once people are trained to cultivate their own food, the problem of hunger is solved in both the long-term and the short-term. Promoting sustainable agricultural practices in developing nations is a primary initiative of U.S. Agency for International Development’s campaign against hunger.

Though hunger is a huge problem in our modern world, solutions do exist. And these solutions can be practiced by anyone – from individuals donating a dollar online to the developed world committing additional funds and efforts to the fight against hunger.

– Matt Berg

Sources: World Food Program-stats, World Food Program-donate, United Nations, USAID
Photo: Spectator