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Start Network's new paper published today calls for better coordination on pre-emptive humanitarian financing, to avoid the ‘missed opportunity’ to save lives, cut the costs of emergency response, and build more resilient communities.

In Disaster Risk Financing in Concert, the authors, Emily Montier, Clare Harris and Nicola Ranger, say that the lack of investment and coordination on pre-crisis planning and financing must be addressed if we are to tackle the impacts of climate change expected in coming years.

Acting in advance of weather extremes and disasters is a fundamental part of building longer-term climate resilience. Yet, for every $10 spent on humanitarian response, only $1 is spent on reducing and managing risks. The Start Network aims to change this by shifting to a proactive rather than reactive approach, using ‘Disaster Risk Financing’. This means having plans, systems and finance in place before a crisis to ensure that adequate finance can flow rapidly and effectively in an emergency, reducing impacts and speeding recovery.

Disaster Risk Financing is still in its infancy, and the Start Network outlines how disaster risk financing systems of Government, CSOs and UN, being developed in siloes, risks entrenching some of the challenges of the global aid system, including weak coordination and the crowding-out of local actors.

In the paper Disaster Risk Financing in Concert, the Start Network sets out a proposal for how Disaster Risk Financing could be coordinated ‘in concert’ or jointly, at three levels;

  • At the national level: international, national and local actors should come together to develop and agree joint risk assessments, contingency plans and coordinated triggers for early action, crisis response and recovery.
  • At the regional level: systems and platforms should be in place to facilitate coordination, particularly for transboundary risks, and the provision of regional public goods, including early warning systems.
  • At the global level: international actors, such as the UN, World Bank, international CSOs and donors, should agree a system of protocols to release financing, in anticipation of or response to major or multi-country emergencies.


Christina Bennett, Start Network’s incoming CEO said: “The way we respond to disasters treats them as if they cannot be predicted, this means that we miss opportunities to reduce impacts of disasters and save more lives. We believe better coordination is needed alongside strengthened national delivery capacity and preparedness. This type of system is needed now more than ever as we face escalating humanitarian needs associated with the impacts of climate change.”

Read the Disaster Risk Financing In Concert paper here.


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Insurance Risk Financing

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