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The Start Fund rapidly responds to its 350th crisis alert

A rapid response to flooding in Yemen

  • by Fatima Khonat
  • 29 Aug 19

News Article

Enabling a Start Network member with presence in Yemen to respond to flooding has become the focus of the 350th alert by the Start Fund.

Torrential rain and flash flooding across Yemen have damaged infrastructure, and affected thousands of families. Homes have been damaged, and farmland washed away, leaving many internally displaced.

The Start Fund was alerted to the crisis by CARE International on the 14th of August for £50,000. A report published by UNOCHA alongside the difficult context in which the crisis is taking place, and the likely presence of other areas of vulnerability or gaps in response saw the Start Fund Team double the allocation award.

CARE were awarded funding on the 18th of August to undertake a rapid emergency intervention in the flood affected area of Milhan District, where they have a long-established presence.

Harnessing their experience of working on various humanitarian response in the region, CARE is reaching those affected with multi-purpose cash vouchers to help meet their basic needs including food, medication and livelihood items.

WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) activities include hygiene awareness sessions and hygiene kit distributions for affected families; providing them with the necessary tools to prevent the escalation of an ongoing cholera outbreak and other diarrheal diseases.

The 350th alert to the Start Fund shows why the mechanism is so badly needed. The Start Fund fills a critical gap in global humanitarian financing by providing rapid and early funding to under the radar small to medium scale crises, spikes in chronic humanitarian crises, and in anticipation of impending crises.

The current flooding crisis in the country further adds to Yemen as the largest humanitarian crisis in the world due to ongoing conflict. More than 24 million people – 80% of the population- is in need of humanitarian assistance. With the onset of the current flooding crisis, The National Authority for the Management and Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Response (NAMCHA) made an appeal to the humanitarian community for assistance to respond to the most urgent needs in the most affected areas.

Through its Start Fund awarded rapid response CARE International’s cash voucher distributions will help more than 4,000 people and more than 1,300 families will be reached with a combination of WASH activities.

Working on the project allocation of alert 350, Start Fund Officer, Christine said: The results of the member survey for Alert 350 were unanimous in favour of activation, demonstrating the extent to which this crisis - with no prospect of alternative funding, and in the context of a protracted but disparate emergency - was an obvious fit for the Start Fund niche. The proposal from Care, as well as the thorough needs assessment they used to inform it, evidenced this further – with a small and multi-sectoral response able to achieve a measurable and significant impact in this fragile context through integration with other agencies, clusters, and authorities.

The Start Fund is supported by UK Aid, Irish Aid, Dutch MFA, Jersey Overseas Aid, the German Federal Foreign Office and IKEA Foundation. 

Keep up to date with the Start Fund cycle for the alert 350: flooding in Yemen 

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  • by Fatima Khonat