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UNDP Global

Responding to non-communicable diseases during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic

Sep 4, 2020

This brief provides guidance for governments, policymakers, UN agencies and development partners to address non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as an integral part of the COVID-19 response and in broader efforts for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The brief was developed by UNDP and WHO in partnership with the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of NCDs.

NCDs, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease, are amplifying the impacts of COVID-19, and COVID-19 is exacerbating the burden of NCDs, particularly in already disadvantaged communities. Almost one fourth (22%) of the global population is estimated to have an underlying condition that increases their vulnerability to COVID-19, and most of these conditions are NCDs. Urgent action across sectors is needed to address the root causes of NCDs and increase access to affordable and quality treatments and prevention.

UNDP’s work with partners on NCDs promotes effective and inclusive governance for health and is aligned with its Strategic Plan 2018-2021 and HIV, Health and Development Strategy 2016-2021: Connecting the Dots, which both recognize the integral relationship between health and development. UNDP’s focus on governance, social protection, green economy and digital disruption in the COVID-19 offer  provides entry points for addressing the social, economic, commercial and environmental determinants of NCDs and vice versa.