Start Fund crisis update
Columbia, Sierra Leone, Central America, CAR, Benin
A summary of small to medium scale crises that the Start Fund has been alerted to, between 16 September and 5 October 2015.
Displacement in Columbia
On Wednesday 16 September the Start Fund was alerted by World Vision, Plan UK and Oxfam to the displacement crisis caused by the political border conflict between Colombia and Venezuela. Following a decision by the Venezuelan Government to initiate a programme of deportation, at least 21,434 returnees and deportees arrived in Norte de Santander, Arauca, La Guajira and Vichada. Due to the increased influx, the capacity of the shelter centres, established to host the displaced people, reached its limit.
72 hours after being alerted, the Start Fund’s project selection committee awarded £180,000 to Oxfam, World Vision, Action Against Hunger and Plan UK. Oxfam will respond in Guajira with 1,371 estimated beneficiaries. World Vision will respond in Norte de Santander with 800 estimated beneficiaries. Action Against Hunger will respond in Norte de Santander with 1,570 estimated beneficiaries. Plan UK will respond in La Guajira with 2,500 estimated beneficiaries.
Flooding in Sierra Leone
On Tuesday 22 September the Start Fund was alerted by Save the Children UK, World Vision, Plan UK and Christian Aid to the flooding in Pujehan and Bo in Sierra Leone, following thunderstorms and heavy rains. Many houses were washed away and major roads were cut off, leaving thousands of people stranded.
72 hours after being alerted the Start Fund’s project selection committee, which met in Freetown, awarded £95,468 to ActionAid UK to respond in Bo and Save the Children UK to respond in Pujehan, with an estimated total of 9,209 beneficiaries.
Drought in Central America
On Monday 28 September the Start Fund was alerted by Plan, Action Against Hunger, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Save the Children and Tearfund to the drought and failed harvests in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, a result of the El Niño phenomenon.
72 hours after being alerted the Start Fund’s project selection committee awarded a total of £399,963 to Save the Children and Oxfam to work in Guatemala, Christian Aid and Oxfam to work in Honduras and Plan UK to work in El Salvador.
Outbreak of violence and displacement in Central African Republic
On Friday 2 October the Start Fund was alerted by War Child UK to an outbreak of violence and massive population displacement in Bangui, Central African Republic. Following the civil war, there is ongoing and pervasive tension throughout the country. On 26 September violence sparked in Bangui following the killing of a Muslim taxi driver. The violence was coordinated and politically motivated and spread rapidly across the city. The violence has led to sudden and massive population movement of 47,000 people, bringing the number of displaced people in Bangui to almost 70,000.
72 hours after being alerted the Start Fund‘s project selection committee awarded Tearfund £70,000. Tearfund will deliver emergency food assistance for 30 days to 2,512 people. Other assistance will include hygiene kits and the rehabilitation of water taps to ensure adequate water supply. Psychosocial support will be offered and 12 displaced people will be offered training in trauma counselling.
Flooding in Benin
On Monday 5 October the Start Fund was alerted by CARE International to flooding in northern Benin, caused by heavy rains in villages bordered by the Niger River. The rapid assessments organised by the Communal Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction showed that 50 villages and 19,860 people were affected.
Following a survey of members, with some operational in Benin, it was decided the Start Fund was not the appropriate response mechanism at this time in the crisis.
About the Start Fund
The Start Fund releases funds within 72 hours of being alerted and projects are implemented within 45 days. The Fund provides fast and early responses to crises, filling a critical gap in availability of humanitarian funds through traditional sources.
Summaries of each crisis response above will be available following completion of the projects.