"During the past 20 years, the world's average infant mortality rate (IMR), considered by many to be the best indicator of society-wide hunger, has fallen from 103 to 59 per 1,000 live births. When the IMR falls to 50 or below in a country, chronic hunger can be said to be ended as a society-wide issue.
Daily Deaths from Hunger (Worldwide):
I know that 18,000 deaths is a large number. However, in 30 yrs, that number has been reduced by more then half. This is a dramatic improvement. As dramatic as the number 18,000 daily is, compare it to THIS number:
8,395,000 fewer children will die of hunger THIS year then in 1977.
Or this number:
1.64 Billion fewer children have died cumulatively since 1977. Actually, this number is much higher because I didn't calculate population drift (in 1977, 41,000/day was out of a total 4BN pop whereas, today, 18,000/day is out of a total 6.5BN pop, not only a dramatic decrease in numbers, but also in percentage of population as a whole.)
18,000 is a tragedy, but buried within that tragedy is a miracle and that is the dramatic decline in the number of deaths due to hunger. Think about that, while the world has INCREASED it's population by more than half in the last 30yrs, it has simultaneously DECREASED deaths by hunger by more than half. No wonder 'eat your vegetables, there are children starving in China' carried more resonance a generation ago!
But the real story goes much further. In the last 30 yrs, the biggest political development is in the growth of nations that are classified as 'democracies'. Indeed, if you look at the areas that the UN is most concerned about hunger, and juxtapose those areas on a map of the world democracies, what you will find is that the areas of the map NOT highly democratized are those areas with the most hunger.
India is the lone exception but India has other explanations, such as one of the world's largest populations and population densities, and an enduring caste system that disproportionally disenfranchises the most poor. In addition, as the OP article points out, India and China, both with phenomenal economic growth due to capitalistic innovations, are both moving the fastest to close the hunger gap.
God bless market economies for reducing the number of deaths by hunger by 1.64 BILLION over the last thirty yrs. And, thank you, Milton Friedman.