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When Pope Francis visited the United States in September, he delivered historic addresses to the U.S. Congress and the United Nations General Assembly. Building on the sentiments of his encyclical letter, Laudato Si', Francis highlighted the international community's responsibility to respond to human suffering, such as that faced by refugees and those living in extreme poverty, and called for global solidarity in order to overcome social exclusion and inequality.The pope's entreaties should make us turn our attention to every aspect of human suffering, especially those that affect the most marginalized people. These illnesses afflict approximately 1.4 billion people per year, including more than 500 million children, causing untold pain and suffering and, through lost productivity, contributing to the cycle of poverty.The reason for the international community's failure to solve this problem is as simple as it is ugly: for the most part, NTDs afflict only the poorest and most overlooked people.
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