The Partnership recognises that NCDs are now the major contributor to the global burden of disease. Diabetes and hypertension along with the other non-communicable diseases cause cumulative economic losses in low- and middle-income countries estimated at US$ 7 trillion for 2011-2025. This sum far outweighs the estimated annual US$ 11.4 billion cost of interventions to reduce the burden. Meanwhile, less than 2% of global development assistance for health goes to NCDs of which only a miniscule share is for diabetes and hypertension.
Resource poor countries are constrained by several factors in their response to NCDs. To start with, poorer people are more vulnerable because they are more likely to have to endure unhealthy living and working conditions. They are less able to afford the healthier lifestyle options. They are also often less educated on the risks without having the knowledge to manage them. These countries can have weak institutional capacities and invest less in prevention, public health protection, and curative care. Furthermore, prevalent inequalities mean that the poorest groups can least afford the remedies on offer that include a lifetime of medication.
Special attention is also needed for the hundreds of millions of people suffering humanitarian concerns. These are the people seriously affected or displaced by disasters and conflicts. Their life chances if they suffer from NCDs are known to be severely compromised by the discontinuities in provision that happen in crisis contexts.