Migration Emergency Response Fund
Migration Emergency Response Fund

Migration Emergency Response Fund

Filling the gap in humanitarian responses in Africa. The Start Network’s Migration Emergency Response Fund (MERF) supported organisations to provide a rapid response to changes in needs along the migration route.

About the Migration Emergency Response Fund 

Adapting to fluctuating needs along the migration route

The Migration Emergency Response Fund (MERF) was a rapid response context-specific contingency fund operated and managed by Start Network, its members, and in collaboration with its donor, the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

The objective of the MERF was to rapidly respond to acute and emerging gaps and changes in needs along migration route. It was also meant to improve the effectiveness and understanding of the migration response and trends. It operated in 11 countries: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Sudan and Tunisia.

Learning from a migration-specific fund

Types of alert

1. Alert for a 1-3 month response - Standard response
2. Alert for a 3-6 month response – Can be used in circumstances where a slightly longer response can be strongly justified              
3. Crisis Anticipation – Can be raised for 1-3 month projects where a crisis can be anticipated

Collaborative information collection and analysis (CICA) grant

A grant for needs assessments, context analysis or information gathering that could be used to build a case for further funding. Guidance on how to submit a CICA request can be found here.

Related programmes

The MERF came after the Start Network had responded to migration in Europe through the European Refugees Response programmes in 2015 and 2016. You can find more information about these programmes here.

The MERF initially ran from January to December 2017 and funded 15 projects in 4 countries. Lessons from this phase have been built into the current phase of the MERF. Please find the MERF annual report here, and independent research on the MERF and Mixed Migration Flows along the Mediterranean here.


MERF members and donors


GOAL Plan International 
ALIMA Humanity & Inclusion Save the Children
CAFOD International Medical Corps  Solidarités International 
Care International  International Rescue Committee Tearfund
Catholic Relief Services Islamic Relief Welthungerhilfe
Christian Aid Mines Advisory Group World Vision
Danish Refugee Council Mercy Corps  
Doctors of the World Norwegian Refugee Council  
Dorcas Aid International Oxfam  

The MERF was funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and delivered as part of a consortium project with the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC).