In a pivotal move to address the global burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and mental health (MH), the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO) co-hosted a second international dialogue on sustainable financing for NCDs and MH in Washington D.C. last week. This meeting convened a powerful mix of policymakers, global health leaders, and a select group of private sector stakeholders, including Access Accelerated.

The aim was clear: strengthening country financing strategies for NCDs and MH. Herb Riband, Director of Access Accelerated, emphasized the critical role of private sector involvement in developing creative solutions to the NCD/MH financing challenge. He also championed the development of country best practices and data-driven investment strategies through knowledge-sharing platforms that enable countries to learn from each other’s experiences, successes, and challenges.

A central theme of the Dialogue was the strengthening of partnerships towards a unified mission. The collaboration between the World Bank and WHO received praise, and the joint presentations by various countries’ health and finance ministries was a positive move towards a more whole-of-government approach. This multisectoral effort was further strengthened by the inclusion of NCD organizations, civil society, and people with lived experience.

While significant progress has been made since the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals and the first High-Level Meeting on NCDs in 2011, the Dialogue underscored the urgent need for a variety of concrete financing solutions at the national level, along with specific financing targets, as we look to the achievement of the UN SDGs in 2030. The upcoming UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs in September 2025 provides a key opportunity to secure financial commitments from member states to address this challenge.

Recognizing the limitations of traditional health financing models, countries expressed the need for creative, locally relevant approaches and alternative financing solutions. Access Accelerated, in its renewed partnership with the World Bank, is working to address this in its next phase. This will focus on empowering countries to accelerate NCD financing by providing on-demand technical expertise, impactful programmatic seed funding, and opportunities for country-country learning.

The announcement of a third global financing dialogue in 2026, following the UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs, underscores an unprecedented level of international and national cooperation focused on tackling NCD/MH financing, one of the biggest barriers to addressing this key global challenge. These high-level meetings are not just forums for discussion; they are catalysts for on-the-ground action. Let’s leverage this momentum to transform discussions into concrete steps that save lives and build a healthier future for all.