Start Fund COVID-19 activates four more alerts bringing total to 21
Following high levels of interest from members, Start Network reopened the Start Fund COVID-19 for a second call for alerts on 11 May. Based on learning from the first call for alerts, as well as a country prioritisation exercise, this call was limited to seven identified countries: Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, DRC, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. Of these, the Start Fund committee allocated funding to: Burundi, Central African Republic, Somalia and Yemen.
Projects for these alerts have now been selected and the agencies responding are:
- Burundi: Christian Aid, International Medical Corps
- Central African Republic: Catholic Relief Services
- Somalia: Action Aid, Plan International, Oxfam, Trocaire
- Yemen: Oxfam, Islamic Relief, War Child
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.
Following a limited top-up to the fund, an additional 12 alerts were activated, bringing the total number of activated alerts to 17, amounting to over £3.8m in funding. After two allocation meetings, the committee decided to allocate funding to alerts in Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Myanmar, oPT, Peru, Sudan, Syria and Thailand.
To date, 21 alerts have been activated through Start Fund COVID-19, including 17 through the first call for alerts and 4 through the second.