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Largest ever early humanitarian action payout received by the Start Network

10M for charities to act early to mitigate drought in Senegal

  • by Fatima Khonat
  • 04 Nov 19

Blog Post

In an official ceremony in Darkar, Senegal today the Start Network was issued with a symbolic cheque of 10M USD in the largest every early humanitarian action pay out.

The ceremony saw issuing of two very large pay outs by ARC (the African Unions insurance arm); one to the government of Senegal and a cheque of 10M USD to the Start Network as replica partner.

The occasion marks the first time a sovereign risk pool issues a payout to a non-sovereign actor, making it the largest ever early action pay out to civil society. With these funds, which are to be released at the end of the rainy season, agencies in Senegal will implement life-saving preventative actions to ensure that oncoming drought doesn’t turn into a bigger disaster, such as a large-scale famine, threatening people’s lives.

The implementation phase will begin in January for six months - covering the ‘lean’ or difficult season in country - by six Start Network agencies in country; Catholic Relief Services, Action Against Hunger, Oxfam, Plan International, World Vision and Save the Children.

The payout has been triggered through a ‘parametric’ insurance policy, provided by African Risk Capacity, which has been developing products with African governments, to disburse funds early, based on pre-agreed scientific triggers. This is a new way of working and unlike the current model in which aid agencies are reliant on funding agreed after a crisis has taken place.

The early funding made available to the agencies to act well before the affects of drought are felt will enable farmers and their families to protect livestock and other valuable assets. The Start Network envisages it could help more than 200,000 people through cash interventions. Even more people could be helped through nutrition or agricultural projects.

Emily Montier, Start Network Labs Manager, said: " This insurance payout from African Risk Capacity is the largest funding allocation ever to civil society for early, protective actions to support communities threatened by crisis. This is very different to normal models of fundraising which require a situation such as drought to escalate into a devastating crisis like famine, before funds and action can be mobilised. Using this payout we will be acting much earlier, alongside the government, allowing us to support thousands of Senegalese families to protect themselves from the impact of the crisis, and hopefully saving lives, livelihoods and money.”

Start Network’s response will complement the response of the Government of Senegal who received a 12M payout, ensuring even the most vulnerable families are protected.

Read more about the ARC Replica programme

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Risk Financing

  • by Fatima Khonat

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