Five Easy Ways to Help End Global Poverty

Global poverty is affecting millions of people, and those affected are often living on less than $1.90 a day. The epidemic has been ongoing for centuries, and people continue to die due to starvation, disease and many other issues brought about by poverty. Fortunately, the percentage of people in the world living in extreme poverty is declining. There are easy ways for anyone to help in the fight to end global poverty.


Donations come in all forms and are taken by all types of organizations. They can be in the form of money, books, school supplies, clothing, blood, organs, time; the list goes on. Each donation, whether it is the spare change from your pocket or clothes that were going to be thrown out, can help immensely.


Sponsoring an event, a charity, a child, you name it, it can make a difference. Sponsoring an event can be a way to end global poverty by raising money and sending the proceeds to people throughout the globe living in severe conditions. Children can also be sponsored, which means the child would receive money each month from their sponsor and is able to use it towards medical care, education and other needs. The sponsor receives a photo of the child and letters from the child with annual updates and can possibly meet the child.


Volunteering is a hands-on, and often life-changing, experience people partake in to end global poverty. Volunteers are needed in the medical field, teaching and advocacy. Even just mentoring and spending time with children makes a huge difference in poverty-stricken countries.

Spread Awareness

This may be the easiest way to join the fight to end global poverty. With social media at our fingertips, we can publish whatever we choose on a platform that is seen by a lot of people. Why not use it to make a difference? Anything from sharing articles, links to donation pages, or even a handwritten post can give a spark to others and encourage them to contribute.

Improve Governance

How many emails and phone calls does the average person make in a week? What if one of those was to Congress? Taking five minutes out of one day of the week could really make all the difference. Researching the issues related to global poverty and reaching out to members of Congress can have the power to bring change and make the difference as to whether or not a bill passes.

Chloe Turner

Photo: Flickr

Sustainable DevelopmentThe High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) will meet in July 2017 at the U.N. Headquarters in New York to discuss the U.N. 2030 Agenda, which was adopted on September 25, 2015 at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit. The theme of the forum is “Leaving No One Behind,” and it will meet from July 11 to 20.

The HLFP replaced the Commission on Sustainable Development in 2013 and meets every four years under the U.N. General Assembly and under the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) during other years.

According to the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, the goals of the Forum include to guide the execution of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), give suggestions about the 2030 Agenda, incorporate and apply science and international experiences and track the SDG.

The President of the ECOSOC, Oh Joon, stated that the Forum also aims to focus on the national ownership of the SDGS and incorporating the Goals into development plans.

Among its many objectives, the Forum will review the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs with help from reviewers from 22 countries across the world. The President of ECOSOC stated that the reviews are part of the new ways that the Forum works to secure that the world achieves the 2030 Agenda amidst changing global conditions.

The Forum will also take into account the inaugural report entitled “Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals” presented by Wu Hongbo, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for ECOSOC. The document is the first real report of the progress of the 17 SDGs.

As Wu said in an interview, eliminating poverty is both “the greatest global challenge” and a “requirement for sustainable development” that the Forum aims to address with improved methodology.

Although the HLPF is just one event among the many that it will take to create a sustainable, poverty-free world, the deliberations of the Forum are a crucial first step to continual progress.

Addie Pazzynski

Photo: Flickr.

Improved Seeds
Posht-e-Bagh Research Farm is one of the most important research farms in northern Afghanistan. Nestled in the Dehdadi district of the Balkhl province, the farm produces breeder seeds. These genetically improved seeds flourish under local growing conditions, enabling farm productivity to increase.

Currently, the 16 employees of Posht-e-Bagh monitor 972 different types of wheat in order to assess their suitability for local growing conditions.

Every seed produced at Posht-e-Bagh passes through five initial stages: introduction (where seeds and the resulting crops are assessed for their suitability), selection, hybridization, mutation and genetic engineering. From there, a breeder seed is selected and then sent out for further processing before reaching farmers in the form of ‘improved’ seeds.

According to Abdul Wahid Wahidi, a researcher with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), the main goal of Posht-e-Bagh is to increase the productivity of farmers in northern Afghanistan. The eventual production and wide-scale distribution of improved seeds will help generate a long-term solution to the eradication of poverty among farmers.

Breeder seeds produced by farms like Posht-e-Bagh Research Farm are sent to one of six Improved Seed Enterprises (ISE) scattered across the country with the goal of multiplying the breeder seeds into foundation seeds. On such a farm is Khasa-Paz farm, where there are six varieties of wheat being grown on the 1.9 million square meter farm this year.

ISE farms eventually sell the seeds to one of 102 Private Seed Enterprises (PSEs) across the country. They then use these seeds to produce the certified seeds, or ‘improved’ seeds, which are distributed to local farmers.

Improved Seeds
“Improved seed is a vital input for proper crop production,” said Hesamuddin Rahimi, Afghanistan Agriculture Inputs Project (AAIP) Agronomy Manager in Balkh Province. The AAIP, launched in July 2013, is backed with $74.8 million in support from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF). It is their aim to strengthen institutional capacity for the safety and reliability of agricultural inputs and sustainable production of certified seeds.

“Khasa-Paz farm has managed to help farmers to some extent,” Rahimi said. “As it is one of the farms where tons of registered seeds are being produced and sent to PSEs to produce improved seeds for distribution to the market.”

In fact, last year Khasa-Paz farm produced 87.5 tons of foundation seeds.

“The improved seeds result in good harvest. There is an almost 60 percent increase in yield of improved varieties compared to the local seeds,” Rahimi said. “The good thing about the improved seeds is they are suitable for this climate, a factor that increases both the quality and quantity of the crops.” The crops are also resistant against pests and diseases, adds Abdul Fatah, a farmer at Posht-e-Bagh farm.

Many farmers across Afghanistan still use low-quality seeds that result in poor harvests, a critical factor in perpetuating poverty among farmers. Those who have used the improved seeds now see the difference in output.

“Luckily now, farmers’ conditions are better because of the improved seeds,” Mohammad Ghani, a farmer who has been working on Khasa-Paz for eight years, said.

Farmer Lal Mohammad, a colleague of Ghani’s, echoes that sentiment: “Now that I see and understand the difference between good and poor quality seeds, I try to share the knowledge that I have gained with other farmers I know.”

Kara Buckley

Sources: ARTF, CIMMYT, World Bank 1, World Bank 2, World Bank 3
Photo: The World Bank, Agchallenge2050

global poverty lineForecast released by the World Bank on Oct. 4, 2015 demonstrates this year global poverty will be at 702 million people, which is only 9.6 percent of the global population.

Jim Yong Kim, World Bank Group President, at the Annual Meetings in Lima, Peru stated, “This is the best story in the world today – these projections show us that we are the first generation in human history that can end extreme poverty.”

The research brief, Ending Extreme Poverty and Sharing Prosperity: Progress and Policies, proves that the World Bank is making progress toward the two goals set in April 2013: to end extreme poverty by 2030 and boost shared prosperity by raising the incomes of the bottom 40 percent of the population.

The Bank updated the international poverty line to U.S. $1.90 per day from the previous 2005 statistic of U.S. $1.25 per day in order to reflect the increased cost of basic food, clothing and shelter needs of the poorest around the world.

Using the new global poverty line, the World Bank displayed the decrease in the impoverished population globally from 2012 to present: 902 million people or 12.8 percent of the global population to 702 million people or 9.6 percent of the global population in 2015.

In sub-Saharan African, poverty fell from 42.6 percent in 2012 to predicted 35.2 percent in 2015. Within those same three years, poverty in East Asia and the Pacific would fall from 7.2 percent to 4.1 percent. In South Asia, poverty is predicted to fall from 18.8 percent to 13.5 percent. And finally, in Latin America and the Caribbean poverty would decrease from 6.2 percent to 5.6 percent.

The sub-Saharan region now accounts for half of the global improvised population, whereas in 1990 half of the impoverished population was located in East Asia. According to the World Bank Group, the shift is the result of the prevalence of conflict in sub-Saharan Africa and the dependency on commodity exports.

“This new forecast of poverty falling into the single digits should give us new momentum and help us focus even more clearly on the most effective strategies to end extreme poverty,” added Kim.

Marie Helene Ngom

Sources: World Bank 1, World Bank 2, The Manila Times
Photo: No Limit Learning

UN negotiators have recently agreed to extend a 15-year series of agreements known as the Sustainable Development Goals, giving way to an initiative to end global poverty by 2030. The agreement outlines 17 specific goals and 169 targets that are intended to build upon the Millennium Development Goals, which were passed in 2000. Action towards these goals will begin on January 1, 2016.

The agreement outlines aspirations of reducing the world’s poor population by half and eliminating extreme poverty entirely, which is defined as living on less than USD $1.25 per day. Further goals including doubling the incomes of small-scale agricultural producers and lowering the rate of newborn deaths to one percent of births.

“We can be the first generation that ends global poverty…The international community took a major step toward achieving this shared goal with this weekend’s agreement. Now we must sustain that momentum,” said UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki-Moon.

These new initiatives have a wider scope than previous agreements as there are more concerted efforts at promoting universal energy access and encouraging global opportunities for women and girls. Increasing sanitation and water access are also some goals highlighted in the initiative. Additionally, reducing consumption and food waste by half in unison with efforts to phase out subsidies to fossil fuel industries are examples of climate-oriented initiatives. The agreement also calls for nations to pledge USD $100 billion annually for helping developing countries combat climate change by 2020.

Measures of implementation were discussed at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, which was held this past July in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. An important aspect of the agreement is that each member is expected to uphold the goals of the agreement on good faith and that the UN must respect each state’s political independence and territorial boundaries. While agreements were made that countries held the right to concentrate on their own societal and economic in-state development, the UN’s High-Level Political Forum reserves the right to monitor and review their contributions from a global level.

These lofty goals and expectations will be implemented by various methods through multitudes of governmental and non-governmental forces. The official agreement says, “Our journey will involve Governments as well as Parliaments, the UN system and other international institutions, local authorities, indigenous peoples, civil society, business and the private sector, the scientific and academic community and all people. Millions have already engaged with and will own this Agenda. It is an Agenda of the people, by the people and for the people and this, we believe, will ensure its success.”

The Borgen Project

Sources: Vice, Sustainable Development
Photo: The Guardian

Global_Food_SupplySharks are friends, not food, and these friends are helping to end global poverty.

In the ocean, sharks are at the top of the food chain. Although they are widely regarded as ruthless killers, they play a seriously important role under the sea. Sharks help to preserve marine biodiversity and keep several species of fish from overpopulating. Without sharks, the ecosystem would disintegrate.

Sharks contribute to a healthy underwater ecosystem by consuming slow, unhealthy fish, leaving more wholesome and healthy fish not only for other marine life, but also for people to catch and eat. Therefore, it is important that people are more concerned with the decline in shark populations than an unlikely and highly rare shark attack.

Increased shark populations reduce global poverty by providing a healthy and sufficient food supply to the world’s poor.

Unfortunately, shark populations are primarily at risk due to overfishing. Many developing countries rely on fishing as a source of food and income. Because their techniques are outdated, belief-based and usually harmless, developing countries do not put marine biodiversity at risk.

Moderately developed countries, however, show the greatest parallel between the devastation of shark populations and poverty. Countries and economies transitioning from low to moderate development use semi-modern fishing techniques that are inefficient and harmful to the ocean’s ecosystem. Sharks are killed, and thus so are their contributions to human food supply.

Furthermore, these countries usually have unstable governments that have not instated proper regulations and cannot efficiently control fishing practices.

Fortunately, there is a clear solution: conserve the fisheries and save the sharks. Eliminate devastating fishing techniques by making it a focus of government regulation. Educate communities on the importance of sharks in the preservation of a healthy marine ecosystem and the global food supply.

A 40-year-old iconic American film, Jaws, instilled in viewers a great fear of sharks and the complete devastation they can cause. The likelihood of being attacked by a shark, however, is 1 in 3 million. Fear of sharks must be left in the past because now, sharks are swimming in the right direction, and it is towards the end of global poverty.

Sarah Sheppard

Sources: Global Citizen, The Conversation
Photo: Flickr

End Global Poverty
Have you ever dreamed about being a super hero? Did you once believe that you would grow up to end global poverty?

Well, today is your lucky day.

You may not have the time or money to fly to Africa, but you can still contribute to the fight against global poverty!

There are things that you can do without leaving your couch!

1)   Advocate: Post a link to an article about global poverty on Facebook or Twitter, or even bring global poverty up in a conversation. While this may not seem like a big deal, you will be reaching every single one of your friends or followers with the post. You may even inspire them to do something too! 

2)   Call or Email Congress: By contacting Congress you can support bills that will aid thousands and maybe even millions of people living in poverty abroad. Your call will be taken down on a sheet and the tallies will help your representatives decide to vote on a bill.

While this may sound like a daunting task, the Borgen Project makes it easy. Simply type in your zipcode into the Borgen Project website’s application and it will bring up your Congress people’s names, numbers, and emails. If you are intimidated by the thought of talking to someone, simply call after hours and leave a message.

3)   Volunteer: The Borgen Project has many volunteer opportunities. You can volunteer with the Borgen Project, while spending most of your volunteer hours on your couch! Much of your volunteer time will be spent calling congress, writing, or fundraising. It is easy, but effective and worth while.

4)   Fundraise: Create an online fundraiser for The Borgen Project or other global poverty organizations and post it on Facebook. Then text your friends about it.

5)   Donate: From the warm cushions of your couch, look at your budget. Can you spare one dollar a week? Maybe even three dollars? If so, then pick from The Borgen Project or other wonderful organizations and send in your donation. If you chose the one dollar option, then in 20 years you will have contributed over $1,000 towards ending global poverty!

If you have taken the first step and posted a link about ending global poverty (you can start with this one) then congratulations! Pat yourself on the back and sink back into your couch with the happy knowledge that you are now on the way to being a powerful advocate for those in poverty all across the world.

– Clare Holtzman

Sources: The Borgen Project 1, The Borgen Project 2, The Borgen Project 3, The Borgen Project 4, The Borgen Project 5, Crowdrise, The End of Poverty, wikiHow
Photo: Spark Productivity


world_bankIn a recent interview done with The Irish Times, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank, stated that he wants extreme poverty to end by 2030. Specifically, he wants to reduce the percentage of the world population living on less than $1.25 a day to no more than 3 percent.

This has been a major goal for Kim since he has accepted the role. In a speech given in Washington in April, Kim stated, “Our mission at the World Bank Group is defined by two goals- to end extreme poverty by 2030 and to boost prosperity among the poorest 40 percent in low- and middle-income countries.”

Kim believes that although these goals are ambitious, there is more than enough work to go around in order to make these goals a reality. Kim believes that, as the world is growing, a larger need will be invested in infrastructure: roads, bridges, railways, airports, energy plants, etc.

Within his speech, Kim stated that if the world’s multilateral banks can form alliances and work together, they could address these challenges while everyone, especially the poor and vulnerable, will benefit.

In the recent interview with The Irish Times, the recent developments within the UN’s global goals were discussed. As there is a new set of global goals for sustainable development to be unveiled at the UN this September, Kim stated, “I have every intention of pushing this organization to get there, but it will require that we take more seriously the most difficult and most seemingly intractable problems in development”.

The boldness in Kim’s vision to tackle global poverty, inequality and climate change has raised many feelings of skepticism among his peers and other institutions. In the upcoming meeting, Kim’s progress will be tracked to access the viability of it.

Kim is not worried, however; instead, he is looking forward to these developments. He replied to the skeptical counter plans of funding by saying, “There are ones with an almost infinite cost because you want to change everyone’s way of thinking – that takes time, a lot of them are eminently fundable and we need to come up now with a vision of how these different sources of financing for development might be used to solve a problem.”

Only time will tell if Kim’s plans for reducing global poverty will succeed, but it is nonetheless an admirable and ambitious goal.

– Alysha Biemolt

Sources: Irish Times, World Bank, Dawn
Photo: Speakerpedia

How to end global poverty
Putting an end to global poverty seems like a huge undertaking, but the world is making itself a better place every single day.

There is no one set way to end global poverty, and it definitely will not be happening overnight. However, so many people and organizations have already taken strides in order to make things better.

When many consider global poverty they think of commercials in which a man comes out and says, “With just a dollar a day you could save this young child’s life.” But global poverty is so much more than that.

There is a lot more work involved, for one, and there are a lot more people that need help. Those children in that commercial are just one facet of what global poverty really is.

So, how do we end global poverty? The answer is different for everyone. Perhaps, the question to ask is: “What am I good at?” and then find a way to turn talents into something that can be good for everyone around the world.

There are hundreds if not thousands of ways people, charities and politicians around the world are trying to help impoverished nations.

There are people who make billboards that can use humidity and rainwater to create freshwater for the surrounding people, or buildings that use special concrete to suck up air pollution, or even the smallest thing such as the “donate now” button from PayPal.

There are business tycoons that use impact investing to help companies that want to give lanterns to children in Africa so they can do their homework and learn by accelerating investments in the solar lighting industry.

In addition to impact investing, there are also businesses like Domino’s Pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Wal-Mart that have expanded in the African Markets bringing jobs, food and have even created advocacy and buzz to help provide donations to the impoverished peoples near their companies.

There are numerous nonprofits and charities dedicated to advocacy, food collection, shoe donation, vaccine donation and more. Nothing But Nets is one that’s as simple as giving a family in Africa an insecticide-treated mosquito net to help prevent the spread of malaria. Even the smallest things can impact global poverty in a big way.

There are even charities like Girl Up, dedicated to simply telling young girls and boys they can get through it and become better. Global poverty can be impacted by something as simple as positive encouragement.

The question “How do we end global poverty?” may seem intimidating at first, but once you decide what you can do and see what everyone else is already doing, it seems a lot easier.

The goal of ending global poverty is attainable, all it takes is asking yourself two simple questions: “What am I good at?” and “How can it help end global poverty?”

– Cara Morgan

Sources: The Borgen Project, Girl Up, Nothing But Nets, [email protected], Wal-Mart
Photo: World Relief

Wall Street
Does making millions really help the world’s poor? Many Wall Street employees who earn more than the average worker are making the argument that it is more important and worthwhile to make a lot of money first to be able to donate a lot of money later. These people point to billionaire do-gooders like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Mark Zuckerberg to prove that those who give the most are those who have the most to give.

At first it seems logical that Wall Street could end global poverty. Take a simple scenario of a Wall Street employee. If that person earns hundreds of millions of dollars per year, for example, they could choose to donate all but a few million to charities that help alleviate global poverty. They and their family would still be able to live a very luxurious lifestyle, and millions of people around the world would reap enormous benefits from all the donated money. Now, imagine if every millionaire and billionaire did the same thing. It would make a huge difference. But the important question to ask is will Wall Street end global poverty with employee earnings?

John Paulson, a hedge fund manager, earned $5 billion in 2010. While he did donate a portion of that money to charity,  most of the money went to organizations that were less about social change. Paulson’s largest donations went to a business school in New York ($20 million) and the Central Park Conservancy ($100 million). Those donations aren’t bad, since giving any money to any charity is certainly commendable, but that $120 million may have gone further if it had gone to help starving children or provide clean drinking water to the poorest areas of the world.

Paulson certainly isn’t the only person to do this, since many people (billionaires and everyday employees) choose to give money to charities that are closest to them personally. Whether it’s the college from which they graduated, an animal shelter, or even a videogame organization, many people feel compelled to give back to charities or organizations that helped them, and may not consider the fact that there could be better uses for their money. So while it’s certainly not a bad thing for Wall Street millionaires and billionaires to donate to charities that touch their personal lives, in order to benefit the most number of people in the most significant ways, it could be wiser to donate to a charity that focuses on saving lives.

Katie Brockman
Source: New York Magazine
Photo: American Security Project