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Start Fund awarded responses: June

  • by Milli Cooper
  • 09 Jul 19

Blog Post

June witnessed the first ever alert and allocation for Paraguay, as well as the first anticipation alert in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. June also provided several other occasions for the Start Fund to respond to under-reported crises.


Below average rainfall across the Horn of Africa caused drought conditions across the whole region, and particularly in north and north-eastern pastoral zones of Kenya. These drought conditions have been ongoing since late 2018, with delayed onset of the long-rain season leading to deterioration of farmland, loss of livestock, and increased food insecurity.

  • As Kenya entered the “lean-season” in June, humanitarian needs were anticipated to escalate significantly beyond typical seasonal variation.
  • As Households in certain areas had already been judged to have entered IPC Phase 3 (Acute Food and Livelihood Crisis), the prioritisation of these areas was held to be particularly urgent.

The Start Fund received the alert for this crisis on 4th June, after which the Start Fund committee agreed that the very strong information provided by agencies active in Kenya demonstrated the appropriateness of the Start Fund to respond. The Project Selection Committee reviewed 10 proposals, selecting 3 projects which had good geographical coverage of the areas most at risk – from ACTED, Action Aid, and Oxfam.


Heavy rains in the 3 months preceding this alert led to atypical flooding of the Paraguay river, affecting communities across 14 departments. While some mechanisms were able to begin a response, localities in Chaco region and Ñeembucú experienced access limitations, slowing the opportunity for humanitarian response. Particularly in these areas, shelter, WASH, and health proved priority sectors for action.

  • Due to consistent heavy rains over a period of three months, it was not clear at what rate people were displaced or able to return home – this also caused significant information gaps when understanding the extensive area covered.

This crisis was raised to the Start Fund on 5th June, and the Start Fund Team recognised the clear gap that could be met by the Start Fund – while also recommending that the alert could have been raised as an anticipation alert with greater foresight. CADENA was awarded for their project based on WASH and livelihoods, with the increased allocation amount allowing for 100% of the target population to be reached.


The Higher Defence Council (HDC) in April 2019 declared that all semi-permanent structures built by Syrian refugees must be dec onstructed – with an initial deadline for the 9th June in the border region of Arsal. This was then extended to the 1st July but applicable to all structures across the country.

  • 19% of Syrian households in Lebanon are believed to reside in non-permanent structures, with the number of individuals affected in Arsal alone believed to be 25,000 (including 15,000 children).
  • Disruption of shelter causes other protection and welfare concerns, with protection, WASH, education, and livelihoods all anticipated to be negatively affected.
  • In order to avoid destruction of personal items, some of the affected population began dismantling their structures themselves, meaning that the peak of the crisis was difficult to define.

After this alert was raised on the 18th June, the Start Fund Committee agreed to activate this alert for the full amount of £550,000, recognising the complexity of the situation regarding protection and non-refoulement. At the Project Selection level, Action against Hunger and Save the Children received funding for their projects, prioritising shelter, protection, and advocacy – as well as proposing flexible activities for this anticipated alert.


The change in entry requirements for Venezuelans into Peru caused a spike of people crossing the border, ahead of the implementation of new rules on 15th June. In one week, 34,000 individuals crossed the border, putting pressure on humanitarian assistance and highlighting priority needs for new arrivals in the border region, including food, WASH, health, protection, and shelter.

  • Many new arrivals arrived in a particularly vulnerable state, with a spike in asylum applications in Tumbes, as well as a particularly heightened risk for the “walking population”.
  • Due to hyperinflation, deep recession, and increased prices, most Venezuelans arrived in Peru without assets and in poor health from transit.

This alert was raised by a consortium of members on the 24th June, with the Committee meeting to unanimously activate £300,000 to respond to the recent heightened crisis. All three project proposals were complementary and well-coordinated, not only with other member organisations, but also with local and national-level mechanisms – all three were therefore funded through this Committee meeting, providing coverage across disparate areas and in various project sectors in order to respond to this crisis.

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  • by Milli Cooper