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Start Fund COVID-19 activates 17 alerts, disburses £3.8m in funding

  • 28 Apr 20

Blog Post

Following a limited top-up to the Start Fund COVID-19 fund, an additional 12 alerts have been activated. This follows the funding of five alerts earlier in April and brings the total number of activated alerts to 17, amounting to over £3.8m in funding.

To make the most of the work that went into the submissions for this first call for alerts, the Start Fund committee agreed to reconsider those alerts that were deemed very strong but were not activated in the first round. Agencies were invited to submit an update to be reviewed alongside the original alert note.

After two allocation meetings, which took place on 20 and 24 April, the committee decided to allocate funding to alerts in Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Myanmar, oPT, Peru, Sudan, Syria and Thailand. Projects for these alerts have been selected and most have already started.

The agencies responding are:

  • Benin: Oxfam
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: Catholic Relief Services, International Rescue Committee, Save the Children
  • Colombia: HelpAge
  • Laos: CARE
  • Lebanon: Relief International
  • Libya: International Medical Corps
  • Myanmar: Christian Aid
  • oPT: HelpAge, Islamic Relief, Oxfam
  • Peru: Action Against Hunger, CARE, Save the Children, World Vision
  • Sudan: Mercy Corps, Save the Children
  • Syria: Agency names are not being communicated
  • Thailand: ACTED, Humanity & Inclusion, Save the Children


Start Fund COVID-19 was set up to anticipate and respond to critical virus-related humanitarian needs in low-income countries, and was kickstarted with a generous donation from IKEA Foundation for €1.5M.

An initial call for alerts took place between 2-6 April, which resulted in 85 alerts from 69 ODA countries. At the time, funding was in place for only five and alerts in Burkina Faso, Chad, Haiti, South Sudan, and Timor Leste were activated.


Read more about the Start Fund COVID-19

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