What can be done to end world hunger?

Given the sheer numbers of people living in situations of extreme poverty - an estimated 925 million people were chronically hungry in 2010 - many often assume that the cost of ending world hunger is astronomical and out of our reach. This is, fortunately, not the case.
Less than 1% of gross national income from all rich countries, 0.7% to be precise, would be enough to end poverty forever. In the US, that amounts to $91 billion per year. That may seem like an endless amount of money, but compare that to the Department of Defense Budget for 2010: $663.8 billion, an increase of $2 billion from last year. The US has the money to pay for an increase in foreign aid money, but without the political and public resolve it will not happen.
The UN estimates that the cost of ending world hunger by achieving the Millennium Development goals would be $143 billion in 2010, which would be spread out among the nations of the world. Due to low levels of aid spent by rich nations across the world, with only five nations reaching or going over the 0.7% goal, the cost of ending world hunger and achieving the Millennium Development goals has not yet been met. If all nations were to commit fully and spend the 0.7% of their gross national income on aid, millions could be set on the path of raising themselves out of global poverty sustainably and permanently. The UN Millennium Villages project offers a good example of the end result of this sort of funding. Designed as a development program focusing on building stability from the local level to the national level, the villages aim to apply the success felt on a smaller community level to district-wide and national levels, allowing local solutions to be implemented in similar situations as well as identify specific national policies that need to be targeted for sustained development.

Using the Millennium Villages project model, a breakdown of what specific regions will receive the aid can give a picture of where investment will occur on a global level. The majority of funding (40%) goes towards health, not surprising considering the high costs associated with drugs and implementation of health programs. The other 60% of funding is fairly evenly consistently split between other community needs: infrastructure (including electricity, roads, sanitation), nutrition, water, agriculture (including training to utilize new breakthroughs in agricultural technology and strategy), community, education, and environment. In all of these cases, the majority of these costs associated with ending world hunger pay for infrastructural or other overall changes that will allow for sustained economic and community growth. As the saying goes, give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, but teach him how to fish and he'll eat for life. These solutions are not quick fixes, and will not result in immediate dramatic results, but over time and in a very fundamental way will add up and result in the ending of world hunger.
The precise solutions that work for the Millennium Villages in Africa of course cannot always translate to all regions, the problems felt in Africa differ greatly from those felt in Oceania. However, the success in these villages show that targeted solutions do work, and offer general examples from which other efforts may be aware of and avoid general difficulties. The cost of ending world hunger is not as high as may be imagined, and the outcomes are endless in terms of the benefits for the regions and the world.
Learn more at www.borgenproject.org