Start Ready Risk Pool 3 goes live with 6 activations within the first 48 hours

It was an eventful start, with 6 heatwave activations in Pakistan within the first two days of the risk pool going live.

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Sarah Klassen


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This year, Start Ready is providing protection to at-risk communities in Philippines, Bangladesh, Madagascar, Senegal, Somalia, Zimbabwe, DRC, and Pakistan for 13 different climate risks. It will protect over 688,000 people. Through risk pooling, Start Ready was able to stretch funding 1.65 times, allowing the network to stretch £5.9m of capital to £9.7m. This ability is particularly important within the context of climate change

It was an eventful start, with 6 heatwave activations in Pakistan within the first two days of the risk pool going live. This isn’t surprising, as climate change is making devastating early heat in Pakistan 30 times more likely.

The humanitarian actors within Start Network have long observed the tension between growing humanitarian needs caused by climate disasters, and the fact that humanitarian funding is just not keeping pace. Start Ready was born out of this frustration. It was designed to be one of the practical ways that civil society can more effectively address loss and damage caused by climate change. 

Temporary cooling facility © Ready Pakistan

Temporary cooling facilities were setup by our members as part of the Start Ready Activation in Pakistan for heatwaves

Within the last few years, Start Ready has rapidly evolved from an idea - to a pioneering operational humanitarian financing mechanism, and it is encouraging to see the momentum around it grow. This year, two new risks have been added to the pool: drought in Zimbabwe and flooding in Somalia. Humanitarian actors on the ground have been actively building and adapting disaster risk financing systems that will enable them to anticipate and respond early to these risks. Start Ready funding is growing too.

Start Network launched Risk Pool 3 with £7 million with the support of 11 donors*.

This is 250% more funding than it received in its first year of operation. Start Network has unlocked exciting new partnerships with donors like ECHO and corporations like L’Oreal Climate Emergency Fund. 

For the first time, the Start Ready Governance Committee, which oversees Start Ready and helps the network make the difficult decisions of how much funding to preposition where, also took on ARC Replica premium decisions. Start Ready and ARC Replica complement each other on the ground operationally, and this will help to ensure an even more cohesive and layered approach to how Start Network provides protection to at-risk communities from climate risks.

In Somalia, for example, Start Ready funding is layered with ARC Replica. Funding is released using the same ARC Replica model, Africa RiskView, but at a lower threshold to the ARC Replica policy that is purchased. ARC Replica addresses more large-scale droughts and Start Ready can be used to address more moderate sized drought events. Layering these interventions are necessary to address loss and damage effectively.

The first 6 activations have all taken place in Pakistan, in response to the intense heat that has hit parts of the country. Temperatures have soared to over 50 degrees in some areas, resulting in the disbursement of approximately £488,000 GBP to Start Network Members in Pakistan, including Bright Star Development Society Balochistan (BSDSB), Participatory Rural Development Society (PRDS), Mercy Corps, Muslim Hands, Doaba, and Laar Humanitarian And Development Programme (LHDP).

The majority of activities will be implemented through local implementing partners. Members will implement pre-approved contingency plans, with a view to prevent an increase in morbidity and mortality related to extreme heat. Activities will ensure that affected populations have access to cooling facilities, shade and water and strengthen local hospital ability to respond to an increase in heat-related health issues.

Drinking water for livestock © Ready Pakistan

No one left behind - support for livestock and agriculture were also included in the anticipation activities for heatwaves in Pakistan

With the launch of Risk Pool 3, Start Network is also introducing a new Start Ready digital portal that will provide real-time information on the risk pool.

Members and the public can now see the protection that is offered within a given pool and will be able to see real-time when an activation happens. Start Network is also publishing an updated Start Ready Handbook which provides new information on how Start Ready works operationally. 

Risk Pool 3 is building on the experience and lessons that have been gained through the first two years of Start Ready operations. Last year, Start Ready was activated 9 times. Triggers were met and funding was immediately released to local and international NGOs to implement pre-agreed contingency plans. Humanitarians were able to anticipate and respond early to climate risks in: Pakistan (heatwaves), Philippines (cyclone), Bangladesh (cyclone), Madagascar (drought & cyclone), and DRC (floods). 

For more information on Start Ready click HERE

*Start Ready Risk Pool 3 is supported by the German Federal Foreign Office, UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Irish Aid, Swiss Re Foundation, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, Howden Group Foundation, EU Humanitarian Aid, IKEA Foundation, The French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and the L’Oréal Climate Emergency Fund.