High school students from Cameroon are learning how to become scientists to co-design healthy environments. Watch their story here https://ncdalliance.org/turning-the-tide/films/africas-diabetes-rise

Norway and NCD Alliance partner to scale up NCD action in developing countries

14th June 2021



14 June 2021 (Oslo, Norway) - The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) announced today a two-year partnership with the NCD Alliance totalling NOK 12,000,000 (USD $1.5 million approximately) to support prevention and care for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) throughout 2021-2023. This landmark partnership is part of Norway’s commitment to reduce the global burden of NCDs, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory diseases, diabetes and mental health conditions, which are fast becoming the major causes of premature death and disease in LMICs. 

NCDs cause more than 70% of all deaths worldwide every year, making them the leading cause of death and disability. 

Norway is the first country to develop a dedicated international development strategy to combat NCDs in LMICs, Better Health, Better Lives, launched in 2019. With a budget of USD $133 million (1.2 billion NOK) from 2020 to 2024, the strategy has four main points of focus: strengthening primary health care; strengthening mental health care; prevention that targets leading NCD risk factors such as air pollution, tobacco and alcohol consumption and unhealthy foods; and strengthening standards and guidelines, as well as health data and information systems.

“Norway’s new partnership with the NCD Alliance to combat NCDs in low- and middle-income countries represents a key contribution to our Better Health, Better Lives strategy and will accelerate progress to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” says Minister of International Development Dag-Inge Ulstein.

“We strongly believe in the power of partnerships to respond to the NCD crisis and the particularly important role that civil society and communities play – as change agents, raising public demand for policies, laws and regulation and ensuring that essential services reach communities.  We look forward to partnering with an organisation with such a strong track record as NCDA,” says Bård Vegar Solhjell, Director General of Norad. 

The two-year partnership will support delivery of NCD Alliance’s new strategy 2021-2026. The partnership will particularly boost NCDA’s work with policymakers worldwide to mobilise resources to prevent NCDs and ensure access to care for people living with NCDs and mental health conditions, and to integrate NCDs with other global health and development priorities, recognising that most people live with more than one health condition. It will also enable scaling up programmes to strengthen and support national NCD alliances in LMICs with training and skills-building, and will focus on proven policy solutions to prevent NCDs and ensure access to essential care for all. 

“Norway’s leadership on NCD action in developing countries is ground-breaking,” says Anne Lise Ryel, NCD Alliance President and former Secretary General of the Norwegian Cancer Society. “For too long NCDs have been left behind by the global health community, despite becoming the major cause of premature death and disability in almost every country in the world. Norway’s strategy on NCDs and our new partnership is a sign of a change in step, where NCDs are finally levelling up in development cooperation and funding. This sets a vital precedent for other donor countries and philanthropies to follow.”

Although the burden of NCD is universal, LMICs are hit the hardest, with over three-quarters of all NCD deaths occurring in these countries. Without action, NCDs are estimated to cost USD $7 trillion in economic losses over the next two decades. Health systems in many LMICs are ill-equipped for this growing health challenge, which has been even further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic since people living with NCDs have been in the crosshairs of the pandemic. 

“The timing of this partnership could not be more important”, says Katie Dain, CEO of the NCD Alliance. “The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the damage that neglect of people living with NCDs and failure to invest in public health and resilient health systems has done over the years in many countries. There is a real risk that NCD action and investment could slide backwards without urgent and decisive action. Through our partnership with Norad, we will seize opportunities globally to regain momentum on NCDs, as well as catalyse national civil society action in LMICs to promote health, protect rights and save lives.”



Further Information:

Marit Hverven, Norad Senior Adviser [email protected]

Jimena Márquez, Communications Director, NCDA, [email protected], mobile: +34 686 160 725.


About Norad

Norad is the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, a directorate under the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Its main purpose is to ensure that Norwegian development aid funds are spent in the best possible way, and to report on what works and what does not work. Its strategy launched in 2021 looks forward to 2030, using the Sustainable Development Goals as its cornerstone. 


About the NCD Alliance

The NCD Alliance (NCDA) is a registered non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in Geneva, Switzerland, dedicated to supporting a world free from preventable suffering, disability and death caused by noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Founded in 2009, NCDA brings together a unique network of over 300 members in more than 80 countries into a respected, united and credible global civil society movement. The movement is unified by the cross-cutting nature of common risk factors including unhealthy diets, harmful use of alcohol, tobacco smoking, air pollution and physical inactivity, and the system solutions for chronic NCDs such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes, mental health and neurological disorders.