There is some solace and peace of mind to be had in backpacking however. For me, I am encouraged daily by the number of smiling faces that I see behind countless shops and hostels. A sure sign that tourism has brought some economic prosperity to a region of the world with little left. The spending of developed countries wages in undeveloped areas works as a distribution of wealth. Meanwhile "we" backpackers receive more services for our wages.
As more tourism enters these regions it can raise the prices of common goods and create more income inequality withing the country, meaning that more and more can afford less. This is why I try to avoid solely for profit organizations when possible. Although I am a supporter of business, I also believe in helping as many as possible. Many hostels and tour organizations pay their workers fair wages, pay their rent/overhead, and donate all additional income to other NGO's (non-governmental organizations). These NGOs also hire volunteer workers (often backpackers) which allows more cultural dispersion and a greater understanding of the world as a whole.
So look for non-profit organizations when you can, and travel as often as possible. Even if it seems that you may not be doing much good, and although you might feel like you are helpless to the poverty, I believe that a lot of good can come from world travelers!