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Reducing the burden of tropical diseases and fostering greater human well-being on a global scale will require acknowledgement that unbridled materialism and wasteful consumerism are associated with impoverishment of the human spirit and threaten the lives of billions. Perpetual economic growth for some cannot continue at the expense of others without sacrificing our humanity. The forces that sustain poverty should be studied more seriously and constructively addressed. The poor are not poor because they are lazy, incompetent or corrupt. While poor countries must also accept some blame for their condition, the causes of poverty are much more complex. Powerful nations need to resolve to deal with the upstream causes of intolerable economic disparities in which they are deeply implicated through such processes as described above. Their wealth, their sense of entitlement and their moral insensitivity are as problematic as the existence of poverty.

Crucial to a new approach will …