Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are one of the major health and development challenges of the 21st century, in terms of both the human suffering they cause and the harm they inflict on the socioeconomic fabric of countries, particularly low- and middle-income countries. No government can afford to ignore the rising burden of NCDs. In the absence of evidence-based actions, the human, social and economic costs of NCDs will continue to grow and overwhelm the capacity of countries to address them.
Recognizing the devastating social, economic and public health impact of NCDs, in September 2011, world leaders adopted a political declaration containing strong commitments to address the global burden of NCDs and gave several assignments to the World Health Organization (WHO) to help support country eff orts. One of them was the development of the WHO Global action plan for prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases 2013–2020 (known as the Global NCD Action Plan), including nine voluntary global targets and a global monitoring framework. Th e Global NCD Action Plan and the voluntary global targets were adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2013.