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A new era of humanitarian action

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Start Fund: Tropical storm response, Somalia, 2018

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About us

A new era of humanitarian action


Start Network is made up of more than 40 aid agencies across five continents, ranging from large international organisations to national NGOs. Together, our aim is to transform humanitarian action through innovation, fast funding, early action, and localisation.
We're tackling what we believe are the biggest systemic problems that the sector faces - problems including slow and reactive funding, centralised decision-making, and an aversion to change, means that people affected by crises around the world, do not receive the best help fast enough, and needless suffering results.
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Localisation


We believe that a more balanced international aid system, which shifts power to those closest to the front-line, will generate more effective and appropriate responses for people affected by crises.

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New froms of financing

New forms of financing


Our pooled funds enable fast and early action to tackle the kind of crises that are often overlooked by other funding mechanisms. Our risk financing pilots are introducing new ways of working that can save even more lives.

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Collective innovation


New ways of working are needed to tackle the challenges we face. By innovating collectively we can share expertise, insights and perspectives to shape a more effective humanitarian system.

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An international network

Today the Start Network extends to over 40 members and their 7000 partner organisations, employing more than a quarter of a million people across 200 countries and territories.
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Latest news

Press release

New COVID-19 fund launched to help vulnerable communities in low-income countries

Start Network has launched a new COVID-19 aid fund to anticipate and respond to critical virus-related humanitarian needs in low-income countries. The fund is being kickstarted with a donation from IKEA Foundation for €1.5M, other donors are being sought.

02Apr20

News Article

Start Network launches COVID-19 fund

Start Network has launched a new COVID-19 aid fund to anticipate and respond to critical virus-related humanitarian needs in low-income countries. The fund is being kickstarted with a donation from IKEA Foundation for €1.5M, other donors are being sought.

02Apr20

Blog Post

Start Fund: Shaping the future of humanitarian financing

Six years ago today, Christian Aid made the first alert to a new aid financing mechanism. The Start Fund’s first alert to food insecurity in South Sudan went on to disburse just over £300,000 to Action Against Hunger, Christian Aid, Plan International and Tearfund within three days of the alert. Originally conceived as an antidote to the limitations of the large pooled funds and traditional emergency appeals, in 2020 the Start Fund has come of age, a recognised pillar within humanitarian financial architecture and a force for transformation in its own right.

01Apr20

News Article

New COVID-19 fund to help vulnerable communities in low-income countries

Start Network is setting up a new COVID-19 fund to anticipate and respond to critical virus-related humanitarian needs in low-income countries. 

27Mar20

Latest resources

Resource

Mongolia: anticipation of harsh winter

Mongolia is unique. 30% of the population earn their livelihoods from herding livestock, leading a traditional nomadic life to enable their animals to access pasture throughout the year. Weather conditions can be extremely harsh, with long, stormy winters where temperatures can drop as low as -40C or -50C. Herders, and therefore the wider Mongolia economy, are vulnerable to the impacts of extreme winter weather. Dry summers can mean livestock do not gain the weight needed to survive winter, combined with harsh conditions this can cause mass livestock mortality known as ‘dzud’.

11Feb20

Resource

Monthly Risk Briefing: February 2020

The monthly risk briefing reports on new, emerging or deteriorating situations; therefore, ongoing events that are considered to be unchanged are not featured and risks that are beyond the scope and scale of the Start Fund are also not featured. It is collated by the Start Network Anticipation team using information from academia and research institutes, government departments, ACAPS, global risk indexes, risk information provided by Start Members and their partners, and the media. Key risks are shared and collated each month with FOREWARN input.

10Feb20

Resource

MIGRATION EMERGENCY RESPONSE FUND HANDBOOK

This handbook is for MERF members, from headquarters to in-country staff. The handbook is a guide to the most up-to-date processes, systems, and governance mechanisms which enable the MERF to operate. It is a live document and will be continuously updated based on experience and feedback.

07Feb20

Resource

Start Network Strategy 2020-22

Start Network’s vision is for a proactive, innovative and locally-owned humanitarian system in which people receive better quality humanitarian aid, maintain their dignity and are protected from suffering and harm. 

22Jan20

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The Network

Start Network members