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The Jersey Overseas Aid Commission and the German Federal Foreign Office have announced their support to the Start Fund, a global fund that enables NGOs to respond quickly to humanitarian crises.

The Start Fund provides rapid financing to underfunded small to medium scale crises, spikes in chronic humanitarian crises, and to act in anticipation of impending crises, filling a critical gap in humanitarian financing.

The support from both Jersey Overseas Aid (JOA) and the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO) has been received as part of their efforts to grow innovation in humanitarian actions and the need to work towards improving the delivery of aid and the humanitarian system itself.

The funding of 1.5 million euros from the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO) has been announced as part of the GFFO strategy for humanitarian aid, and the support highlights a particular emphasis on the importance of mainstreaming early action, by acting in anticipation of impending crisis to reduce the impact of crisis on at risk communities. 

With the announced funding of 1.5 million Euros from GFFO and £500,000 from JOA, both the German and States of Jersey Governments join a growing list of supporters of the Start Fund, a list which also includes the governments of Britain, Ireland and the Netherlands.

The Start Fund is a New Financing initiative of the Start Network, a global network of 42 aid agencies working to deliver more effective aid, harnessing the power and knowledge of the network to make faster and better decisions to help people affected by crises.

The Start Fund is collectively managed by Start Network’s 42 members. Projects are chosen by local committees, made up of staff from Start Network members and their partners, within 72 hours of an alert. This makes the Start Fund truly innovative and the fastest, collectively-owned, early response mechanism in the world.

Since its inception in 2014 it has been alerted to 289 crises and has responded to 189 crises, distributing over £42.6m to help nearly 11 million people around the world. Over the past year it has responded to a number of crises including:

  • The cross-border displacement of Venezuelans as hyperinflation and economic insecurity left millions of Venezuelans in grinding poverty and sparked a dramatic increase in the number people leaving Venezuela in desperation. The Start Fund immediately filled a gap in this under-funded socio-economic crisis to respond to the needs of those displaced in Peru and Ecuador.
  • In the summer two new outbreaks of the Ebola virus in the DRC raised fears of a wider epidemic, threatening the lives of hundred. The Start Fund responded immediately at both times and had disbursed over £500,000 to the region, enabling a rapid response to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
  • The month of October saw the highest number Start Fund awarded responses in one single month. From responding to flooding and landslides in Uganda, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nigeria to anticipating a volcanic eruption in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Within one month the Start Fund had disbursed funding for an immediate response to 13 crises across South America, Africa and Asia.

Please read more information on the Start Fund and the Crises Anticipation Window.

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Start Fund

  • by Milli Cooper