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€2 Million for early action and localisation: EU to support Start Network’s risk financing mechanism

The European Union (EU) has announced €2 million in funding for Start Network, a global network of over 90 humanitarian organisations, to support its innovative Start Ready program.


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The European Union (EU) has recently announced €2 million in funding for Start Network, a global network of over 90 humanitarian organisations, to support its innovative Start Ready programme. Currently operating in eight countries in Asia and Africa, Start Ready focuses on establishing rapid and relevant risk financing mechanisms based on crisis preparedness plans and pre-determined triggers developed with, and by, local communities and is expected to protect over 600,000 people.

Start Network is taking a proactive approach to working with and protecting at-risk populations from predictable natural hazards. Through Start Ready, funds and resources are pre-positioned in-country in anticipation of floods, droughts, heat waves, and other climate-related shocks. The current risk pool covers eight countries in Africa and Asia, and a population of 900,000 people annually. Start Ready enables local communities in these countries to act early and effectively, saving lives, and minimising potential damage.

The new funding support reflects the EU’s commitment to a more localised, inclusive, and efficient approach to humanitarian assistance and acting ahead before a crisis occurs. The European Union recognises the potential of early and anticipatory action to reduce the impact of predictable hazards on vulnerable people while fostering community resilience through the active involvement of local organisations, and as such has invested in Start Ready.

Hanna Jahns, Director for Disaster Preparedness and Prevention at the EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid said: “Start Ready uses an innovative risk-pooling and insurance approach to pool funds and risks between large humanitarian partners and local NGOs to act ahead of disasters. This is part of the commitment made by the European Commission in the “Communication on the EU’s humanitarian action: new challenges, same principles” to scale up Anticipatory Action while, at the same time, fostering localisation.”

Nelly Maonde, Start Network Regional Advisor for East and Southern Africa said: “This new and exciting partnership with the EU will drive the scaling up and improvement of the network’s anticipatory and early actions. By equipping vulnerable communities with early warning systems and pre-positioned resources, we can dramatically reduce the impact of predictable disasters like droughts and floods, saving lives and protecting livelihoods."

Anna Farina, Head of Crisis Anticipation and Risk Financing, said: “In a recent visit to Madagascar, our team saw how devastating the aftermath of Cyclone Freddy was. We learned how our members could utilise the pre-positioned resources from Start Ready and Start Fund and pre-agree contingency plans to implement anticipatory actions ahead of the cyclone's landfall and immediate response. The new funding from the EU is a crucial investment toward rapid and anticipatory programming that will ensure that communities we work with are better equipped to protect themselves from natural hazards.”


Notes to editors

For further information, contact:

Matthew Stickland, Head of Communications and Digital, Start Network matthew.stickland@startnetwork.org

DG ECHO announcement on Start Network partnership

About Start Network: Start Network is a global network of non-governmental organisations, made up of more than 100 local, national and international aid agencies from five continents. Its mission is to create a new era of humanitarian action that will save even more lives through innovation, fast funding, early action, and localisation. Visit our website to see a full list of members.

About EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid: The European Union and its Member States are among the world's leading donors of humanitarian aid. Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity with people in need all around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by disasters and human-induced crises. Through the Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations of the European Commission, the European Union helps millions of victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the EU provides assistance to the most vulnerable people on the basis of humanitarian needs.