Noncommunicable diseases and their risk factors

UN Interagency Task Force on NCDs (UNIATF)

Framing health as an investment

Participants of the UNAITF training for economists, WHO Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland, March 2018.

23 March 2018 – Health economists from all corners of the world came to Geneva to be updated on the latest methodologies for conducting national investment cases on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). The week-long meeting was financially supported by the government of the Russian Federation under the Task Force-led joint WHO-UNDP programme, Catalyzing Multisectoral Action for NCDs.

Tenth meeting of the UN Task Force on the Prevention and Control of NCDs


21 February 2018 – IAEA hosted the Tenth Meeting of the United Nations Interagency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) on 20-21 February 2018 in Vienna. The meeting was attended by 17 UN agencies, programmes, funds and intergovernmental organizations.

UN Task Force on NCDs: The Government of Ethiopia is working jointly with the UN System to strengthen the national NCD response

D/Tibebu, Mopix Production

Addis Ababa, 5 December 2017 – All-of-government action is needed to prevent and control the health and development impacts of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in Ethiopia, the Minister of Health told the United Nations Interagency Task Force on NCDs during its recent mission to the country.

ECOSOC’s latest Task Force resolution calls for more investment in NCDs

The UN Interagency Task Force on NCDs logo over an image from an ECOSOC meeting.
UN Television

7 June 2017 – To accelerate global and national responses to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has called for greater financing to respond to the global epidemics of heart and lung diseases, cancers and diabetes, including providing sufficient resources for the work of the UN NCD Task Force.

"Friends of the Task Force" met at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development


The work of the United Nations system to prevent and control noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), and the critical links between development and reducing the burden of cancer, heart and lung diseases, and diabetes, featured during the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York on 11 July 2017.

The Russian Federation and WHO hosted a side event titled, “Friends of UN Inter-Agency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable diseases: Supporting Member States to achieve the NCD-related targets for the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Friends of the Task Force meet at UNGA

Minister of Health, Russian Federation and WHO Director-General at the round table at 71st UNGA “Friends of the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs): Supporting Member States to achieve the NCD-related Sustainable Development Goals targets”

23 September 2016 – The meeting, “Friends of UN Inter-Agency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable diseases (NCDs): Supporting Member States to achieve the NCD-related Sustainable Development Goals”, held on 22 September 2016 during the Seventy First United Nations General Assembly in New York, provided an overview of the current work of the Task Force, showcasing action at country level and outlining a number of global joint programmes that now require funding in order to become operational.

UN Interagency Task Force

The United Nations Interagency Task Force (UNIATF) on the Prevention and Control of NCDs coordinates the activities of relevant UN organizations and other inter-governmental organizations to support governments to meet high-level commitments to respond to NCD epidemics worldwide.

The commitments were made by Heads of State and Government in the 2011 Political Declaration on NCDs, and implementation is through the WHO Global NCD Action Plan 2013–2020. The Task Force was established by the UN Secretary-General in June 2013 and placed under WHO’s leadership. Its terms of reference were adopted by ECOSOC in July 2014.

Make up this fortuneteller to discover the links between NCDs and the SDGs.

Play this game of Snakes and Ladders to increase your awareness on the Best Buy for controlling and preventing NCDs.

UNIATF Awards 2018

The UN Interagency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases (UNIATF) is calling for nominations for the UNIATF Award. The awards will be issued to individuals or groups of individuals for achievements in 2017 in the area of multisectoral action in the prevention and control of NCDs and getting countries on the right trajectories in achieving NCD-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The call for nominations is OPEN until 10 May 2018


Global collaboration to address NCDs in countries

Investing in NCD prevention and control saves lives and money

Briefing for Economists on NCD investment cases




Joint missions support UN country teams in their efforts to help countries to build and share solutions for the prevention and control of NCDs, establish a UN thematic group (or an equivalent mechanism) on NCDs to serve as platforms for joint support to national efforts to address NCDs.

Joint Programming Missions also encourage whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches to NCDs by working with government and non-State partners. Joint Missions highlight a small number of crucial next steps that are required for countries to make progress on the multisectoral action in advance of the 2018 High-level Meeting.

Country missions and progress reports

The work of the Task Force is articulated through biennial work plans. Actions includes joint programming missions to countries and joint programmes. Reviews of the work plan are undertaken annually and are available below.

Joint programmes

UNDP/WHO Joint Programme on NCDs

The UNDP WHO Joint Programme on NCDs (Joint Programme) will support countries to develop effective national multisectoral noncommunicable diseases (NCD) responses to achieve the NCD-related targets in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other global commitments. The Joint Programme stems from the recognition that reducing the burden of NCDs cannot be achieved by the health sector alone and requires action across a number of sectors. The Joint Programme will strengthen whole-of-government and whole-of-society responses to NCDs in up to 24 countries.

UN Joint Action on Cervical Cancer

Each year, over a quarter of a million women die of cervical cancer: 90% of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Scaling-up existing effective tools for prevention and control – particularly vaccinating against the human papilloma virus and screening for and treating pre-cancerous cervical lesions – can prevent most of these deaths. In 2016, seven UN agencies established a new five-year Joint Global Programme on Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control to elimination of cervical cancer as a public health concern across the world, bringing together the strengths of their work to protect and promote the health of women and girls.

Cervical Cancer – MoU and joint programming document

60th IAEA General Conference side event – September 2016

Partners roundtable hosted by the US Government – December 2016

UN Joint Action on Cancer Control

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the International Agency for Cancer Research and the World Health Organisation are joining forces for the first time to develop a joint global project to increase national capacity to prevent, control and monitor cancer. The Project, which is being developed at the moment, will build on the mandates, expertise and experience of the three agencies and will provide technical assistance to governments in about seven selected countries. It is expected that the selected countries will act as hubs to disseminate experience to neighbouring countries.

ITU-WHO Mobile Health for NCDs Initiative

WHO and the International Telecommunications Union are collaborating with a range of Members States and other partners in a ground breaking initiative, which focuses on the use of mobile technologies to improve the prevention and treatment of NCDs. This partnership aims to contribute to global and national efforts to save lives, minimize illness and disability, and reduce the social and economic burden that NCDs create. The ITU-WHO mHealth initiative is harnessing the best available mobile technology, making mHealth accessible to all countries as a powerful anti- NCD measure.

Joint letters and agreements

Guidance and other relevant publications developed or supported by the Task Force are provided in this section.

Guidance for non-health sectors on NCDs

What government ministries need to know about noncommunicable diseases

Set of policy briefs and posters which provide decision makers across government with information about how NCDs affect their sector, and the steps they can take to respond to the challenge of NCDs.

Cervical cancer

HPV, HIV and cervical cancer: leveraging synergies to save women’s lives

In July 2016, at the 21st International AIDS Conference, in Durban, South Africa, UNAIDS, WHO and the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS launched this report as part of the work of the United Nations Interagency Joint Task Force on Non-communicable Diseases.

Mental Health related activities

Mental health-related activities of UNIATF members

Mental health has long been a neglected area within health. However, mental health and well-being are integral parts of people’s health, and have an important impact on their capacity to lead fulfilling and productive lives.

NCDs in emergencies

The range of threats to public health faced by countries worldwide is broad and highly diverse. Emergencies can lead to an acute exacerbation or a life-threatening deterioration in the health of people with NCDs. Therefore it is important to inform all stakeholders about the importance of including NCDs in the preparedness and response.

Nutrition and climate change

Sustainable Diets for Healthy People and a Healthy Planet – August 2017

Developing a global food system to deliver healthy diets for a growing population, while reducing the environmental impact and reining in climate change, is one of the greatest global challenges of our time. Food production and consumption are responsible for 19-29% of the human-induced greenhouse gas emissions, 60% of the terrestrial biodiversity loss and 70% of fresh-water use. Diets, meanwhile, have deteriorated globally, leading to an increase in NCDs, particularly type II diabetes, coronary heart disease and some cancers. This paper connects the dots between sustainable food systems, dietary patterns, health, nutrition and climate change mitigation.

Integrating NCDs into the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAFs)

UNDP/WHO Guidance note – March 2015

Integrating NCDs into UNDAFs – current status

The Task Force meets twice a year, usually in February and October. Meetings are only open to Members of the Task Force. Members take it in turns to host with WHO co-chairing meetings with the agency hosting the meeting. Summaries of the meetings are made available to the public.

Global events

Trainings and workshops

Meetings of the Task Force

Contact us

Dr Nick Banatvala
Senior Advisor
Secretariat of the UN Interagency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of NCDs