Start Financing Facility

The Start Financing Facility is the financial infrastructure of Start Network, with innovative crisis financing mechanisms to deliver faster, more efficient, and more effective global humanitarian action.

ARC Replica, Senegal, Credit: Maya Hautefeuille for CRS

What is the Start Financing Facility?

The Start Finance Facility connects frontline responders to risk data and finance, so they are better prepared to respond to crises at scale


In addition to Start Network's existing financing mechanisms, such as the Start Fund, the Start Financing Facility includes a new service that will provide pre-agreed funding at scale for predictable crises – using innovative risk analysis, collective planning and pre-positioned financing.


Local knowledge and leadership are integral to the success of this new model. Start Network hubs will work with the Start Financing Facility team to develop a risk strategy and then apply for funding. Funds are pre-allocated, so if the need is there, the funding will be too.


The Start Financing Facility uses global finance principles to make every pound go further. For example, by risk pooling, we use funding more efficiently. Instead of having pots of funding pre-positioned for specific crises or particular countries, which are not always needed, we can pool risk making the funding stretch further.


This new service is not yet operational, we are now seeking funds to bring this new model for crisis action to the sector. To find out how you can support, please contact


Why the Start Financing Facility is needed

Hear reflections from Start Network colleagues in Bangladesh, The Philippines and Pakistan.


SFF Financing Mechanisms

In addition to the new SFF service, the wider facility includes a variety of funding mechanisms.

How the Start Financing Facility model will work

Step 1

National networks of NGOs identify and prioritise risks.

Step 2

These risks are then categorised as ‘unpredictable’ or ‘predictable’. Unpredictable risks are supported by Start Funds, while predictable risks will go through the SFF's new service

Step 3

National networks of NGOs develop their country system to monitor and manage the risks they have prioritised.

Step 4

National networks of NGOs apply for coverage from the Start Financing Facility, which is approved by a panel including members of national governance structures, and risk experts

Step 5

The Start Finance Facility governance committee decides on funding allocations and shares the most efficient ways to pre-position funding, using the services on offer:

Contingency funds – such as the Start Fund and Start Fund Bangladesh, for regular crises of mild severity, small to medium-sized crises, where likely impact is low.

Risk pool – for predictable moderate crises, where it is more efficient to share risks across other hazards.

Insurance – for rarely seen, extreme crises where risk needs to be transferred to a third party.

Step 6

The Start Financing Facility pre-positions funding, so it is ready to be triggered when needed.

Latest news

Blog Post

High-level Humanitarian Event on Anticipatory Action: Statement by Christina Bennett

The United Nations and the Governments of Germany and the United Kingdom convened a high-level event to advance anticipatory action and galvanise a collective push to act ahead of crises. Start Network CEO Christina Bennett made the following statement at the event.


Blog Post

Reflections on the High-level Humanitarian Event on Anticipatory Action

A High-level Humanitarian Event on Anticipatory Action, convened by OCHA and the Governments of Germany and the UK, took place on 9 September 2021. This brought together leaders from across governments, international financial institutions, the United Nations (UN) and civil society, who delivered powerful statements on their commitments to act to ahead of crises. Here, Sarah Klassen, Ben Webster, Jânio Dambo, and LA Dimailig offer their personal reflections on what this event achieved – and what should happen next.



Scientific due diligence for humanitarian Disaster Risk Financing: A guide for data scientists and humanitarian practitioners

This guide was developed by the Drought Risk Finance Science Laboratory (DRiSL) to provide a tool for both scientists and humanitarian practitioners to aid responsible and effective use of scientific data and modelling in humanitarian decision-making.



Start Financing Facility: Quantitative analysis of risk pooling

Start Network is working to provide more effective and efficient financing models for humanitarian aid. Specifically, to enable a predictable continuum of funding for when risks of different scale and severity start to materialise. This report, commissioned from the UK Government Actuary Department, provides technical advice around the funding of the Start Financing Facility (SFF). In particular, by providing a theoretical illustration of the financial implications of pooling a number of risks into a central risk pool. The paper investigates how the number, frequency and size of the risks will affect the demands on the central risk pool, and highlights options for the financial management of the pool.


Resources and publications