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Helmsley Charitable Trust Grants $5 Million to World Bank Fund to Strengthen Noncommunicable Disease Care within Health Systems

NEW YORK, June 25, 2024 — The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust announced today a $5 million grant to World Bank’s Health System Transformation and Resilience Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF), becoming the first philanthropy to contribute to the newly established technical assistance mechanism.

Over three years, the MDTF will accelerate countries’ efforts to transform primary health care systems to be future-fit, high-quality, integrated, and equitable to improve health outcomes for people living with noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in low-and middle-income countries. Responding to client demand, the Health System Transformation and Resilience MDTF will maximize public and private financing in support of country plans to transform health systems and improve health outcomes.

“Everyone living with a severe chronic condition deserves quality care. Strong, integrated health systems help ensure they can get it,” said Gina Agiostratidou, T1D Program Director at the Helmsley Charitable Trust. “By working with countries to strengthen foundational health systems instead of focusing on siloed services, we can achieve a more coordinated and lasting impact. We are excited to partner with the World Bank on these efforts to help everyone with NCDs thrive.”

NCDs account for nearly three-quarters of all deaths globally. However, health systems remain under-resourced to provide comprehensive care to screen, diagnose, and treat these diseases — including lifelong support for severe conditions like type 1 diabetes. In some areas, the double burden of infectious and chronic noncommunicable diseases pushes the limits of already strained health systems.

To address this challenge, the partnership between the World Bank and Helmsley will focus on a three-pronged approach that includes:

  1. Providing in-country support to implement interventions within the context of health systems strengthening reform;
  2. Strengthening knowledge and building capacity of country stakeholders for NCD integration in health system reforms; and
  3. Monitoring progress on access to NCD essential medicines and technologies, particularly insulin.

With this approach, the MDTF will enable countries to expand the scope and reach of quality health services to address NCDs at scale. “This funding will be pivotal to support governments in strengthening their health systems and making them accessible for the poorest and most vulnerable people,” said Monique Vledder, Practice Manager for the Global Health, Nutrition, and Population Unit at the World Bank. “The support from Helmsley will be critical for our work with countries to identify high-impact interventions to improve health services for all, including for NCDs.”

Last week, Helmsley joined the World Bank, WHO, and other partners for the International dialogue on sustainable financing for NCDs and mental health. Participants identified approaches to integrate NCDs within national health and financing plans, in the lead up to the Fourth High-level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of NCDs in September 2025.




About The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $4.5 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. The Helmsley Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Program is the largest private foundation funder in the world with a focus on T1D, with more than $1 billion to date committed to transform the trajectory of the disease and to accelerate access to 21st century care, everywhere. For more information on Helmsley and its programs, visit helmsleytrust.org.


Contact: Alison Carley, Communications Officer, acarley@helmsleytrust.org