Start Fund COVID-19

Start Fund COVID-19 enables Start Network members to anticipate and respond to critical virus-related humanitarian needs in low-income countries.

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About Start Fund COVID-19

The new fund is part of the Start Network’s existing funding mechanism, the Start Fund, and provides rapid funding for small to medium responses at the local level, to address neglected or underfunded aspects of the broader COVID-19 crisis, with a focus on neglected communities and geographies and early action and anticipation.


Following an initial call for alerts between 2-6 April, Start Fund COVID-19 received a total of 85 alerts from 69 ODA countries across five continents.



Support the Start Fund COVID-19

The fund is currently supported by the IKEA Foundation and UK Aid. However, we are urgently seeking more donors as there is a funding need of £20m and this figure is likely to increase as our members identify more gaps in responses. If you are able to support us in any way at this critical time of global need, please get in touch with us at





Guidance for members on accessing the Start Fund COVID-19

Following high levels of interest from Start Network members, Start Network reopened the Start Fund COVID-19 for a second call for alerts on 11 May. Following learning from the first call for alerts, as well as a country prioritisation exercise, this call was limited to seven identified countries: Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, DRC, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. Of these, the Start Fund committee allocated funding to: Burundi, Central African Republic, Somalia and Yemen. 


Start Fund COVID-19 has already funded 24 projects in 17 affected contexts and information about the funded alerts will be available on the Start Fund portal shortly. We appreciate that needs generated from COVID-19 are well beyond those of the funding capacity available. If members have questions about the first or second call for alerts, please contact


Below are links to the minutes of all allocation meetings:


First allocation (8th April) 

Second allocation (20th April)

Third allocation (24th April) 


 You can find out more about the allocation process here.


List of activated alerts:​


CV19 003 Libya £250,000
CV19 010 South Sudan £250,000
CV19 011 Myanmar £250,000
CV19 016 OPT £250,000
CV19 027 Burkina Faso £250,000
CV19 029 Sudan £250,000
CV19 034 Chad £250,000
CV19 040 Lebanon £250,000
CV19 046 Haiti £250,000
CV19 057 Syria £250,000
CV19 058 Peru £250,000
CV19 062 BiH £200,000
CV19 067 Benin £134,000
CV19 068 Timor-Leste £194,901
CV19 070 Colombia £192,600
CV19 078 Thailand £180,000
CV19 082 Laos £187,805

The Start Fund COVID-19 is still seeking further funding. If new funds become available, we will communicate the process to access this funding again. This might differ slightly from the usual Start Fund process in order to adapt to the specific needs of this global pandemic and considering the operational capacity of both the membership and the Start Funds team.





Guidance document

Alert template

Q&A presentation

List of question and answers


NB: For Start Fund COVID-19, anticipation and response have been combined so that there is only one alert template.


Please refer to the above documents for more information. If you cannot find the answer to your question in those, please get in touch with the team via


Further reading

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