The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) announced today that it would provide a further £12m to support the Start Fund.
The funding will enable frontline actors across Start Network’s members and partners to continue to respond rapidly to and in anticipation of under-the-radar humanitarian crises. The FCDO also agreed to work with Start Network in its transition to a global network of ‘hubs’, which will facilitate locally-led responses and improve NGO access to more innovative financing that will mitigate humanitarian impacts, both protecting and assisting people affected by crises.
The announcement was made at discussions hosted by the Risk-Informed Early Action Partnership (REAP).
Speaking at the event, the UK’s International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for the COP26 Presidency, Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “We are already seeing the benefits of early action, but we must see early action mainstreamed, embedded into policy and plans. As we heard at the Climate and Development Ministerial at the end of March, early action is a priority for developing countries, so we must work together to make risk-informed early action the default position.”
Head of Funds at Start Network, Lucretia Puentes said: “Today’s FCDO announcement highlights the importance of the Start Fund as a means of enabling fast, early, and locally-driven humanitarian action. The continued support of donors such as the FCDO is invaluable at a time of unprecedented humanitarian need, when there is an urgent need to recognise the value of innovative financing solutions that deliver life-saving assistance to communities affected by and at-risk of crises.”
Start Network has also made a number of commitments to REAP, including scaling our anticipatory action efforts through the Start Fund and launching the Start Financing Facility, a financial infrastructure that will house a range of innovative crisis financing mechanisms. The aim is for humanitarian agencies to have access to a suite of financing mechanisms for different types of crisis, in advance for predictable disasters, or quickly following unexpected crises.
The Start Fund is a rapid emergency response fund, which responds to underfunded, small to medium scale crises, spikes in chronic humanitarian crises, and in anticipation of impending crises. Projects are chosen by local committees, made up of staff from Start Network members and their partners, within 72 hours of a crisis alert being raised. This makes the Start Fund the fastest, collectively-owned, early response mechanism in the world. It is supported by the governments of the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Jersey and the IKEA Foundation.