Community meetings in Kufunda
Community meetings in Kufunda © Tree of Life, Zimbabwe

Start Ready

Start Ready is a unique financing mechanism that uses advanced planning so that funding can be rapidly released when needed most.

Start Ready pre-positions funding for crises that happen with regular and predictable patterns of recurrence, like floods, droughts, and heatwaves. Our evidence suggests that around 55% of humanitarian funding goes to crises like these but only 1% of this funding is organised in advance – despite this being a much more effective way of tackling these crises. 

This funding mechanism allows Start Network members to pool funds and risks, meaning we can stretch funding further than ever before – up to three times further than traditional humanitarian response funding.

The concept of Start Ready was launched in late 2021 and the first pool of countries and risks to join Start Ready went live in 2022. It complements our existing Start Fund by providing more diverse funding to humanitarian organisations for recurring disasters that can be modelled and predicted.

Start Ready Portal

Information on Start Ready activations in specific countries that applied for protection against heatwaves, droughts, floods and cyclones.

Visit here

How it works

1. Networks of members work together to design and build a disaster risk financing system, analysing risks and creating contingency plans. We have developed a Building Blocks framework to guide them through this process. These networks are then eligible to apply for Start Ready coverage. 

2. Donors contribute funds in advance, creating a pool of funds that are managed by the Start Ready Governance Committee. The Committee looks at the applications and decides on the most effective way to structure the funding. It then issues coverage certificates lasting for 12 months to each successful network.

3. The pool of funds is live for 12 months. During this period, risks are monitored during each country’s risk season (such as flooding, drought, heatwave or cyclones). Each disaster risk financing system will have a contingency plan that defines the danger thresholds for these risks. When these thresholds are met, funding is immediately released so that NGOs can anticipate and respond to risks earlier.

You can find detailed information in our information sheet Start Ready – How it works and in the Start Ready handbook.

Committee members

Start Ready has its own governance committee. You can see a list of current members on our Governance bodies page.

If you are interested in joining the Start Ready Committee, please contact us on

Our donors

The Start Ready Risk Pool is supported by:

  • UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
  • European Union
  • Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies
  • IKEA Foundation
  • Irish Aid
  • French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs
  • Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Swiss Re Foundation
  • German Federal Foreign Office
  • Howden Foundation
  • L’Oreal Climate Emergency Fund

We have also received technical support from the UK Government Actuary’s Department and CDP.

If you are interested in supporting Start Ready, please contact us on

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