Start Fund

Filling a gap in the humanitarian sector

The Start Fund provides rapid financing to underfunded small to medium scale crises, spikes in chronic humanitarian crises, and to act in anticipation of impending crises, filling a critical gap in humanitarian financing.


Start Fund> Alerts| Anticipation| National Funds| Guidance| Learning

About the Fund

The first multi-donor pooled fund managed exclusively by NGOs

The Start Fund is collectively owned and managed by Start Network’s members, and supported by the British, Irish, Dutch and Belgian governments and the European Commission.

Projects are chosen by local committees, made up of staff from Start Network members and their partners, within 72 hours of an alert. This makes the Start Fund the fastest, collectively-owned, early response mechanism in the world.


Focusing on three types of humanitarian need

Underfunded small to medium scale crises

Spikes in chronic humanitarian emergencies

Forecast and early action for impending crises

The Start Fund niche

Filling the Gap


Figures about the Start Fund since its inception in April 2014 to 18 January 2018.
Read more in the Start Fund annual report.

People reached


People reached

Crises responded to


Crises responded to

Alerts raised


Alerts raised

Average hours between alert and response (excluding anticipatory responses)


Average hours between alert and response (excluding anticipatory responses)

Responses in # countries


Responses in # countries

Pounds disbursed


Pounds disbursed

Latest news


Start Fund: Learning from Slow-Onset Crises

The Start Fund is a multi-donor pooled rapid-response fund that initiates disbursement of humanitarian finance within 72 hours. It is collectively owned and managed by the Start Network members, a group of 42 national and international aid agencies from five continents. The fund was officially launched on 1st April 2014 and has an annual disbursement of approximately £11 million (GBP). It is designed to fill gaps in the humanitarian funding architecture in three main areas: underfunded small to medium scale crises; forecasts of impending crises; and spikes in chronic humanitarian crises. This review is one in a series of learning products developed by the Start Fund Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) team with the intention of providing actionable recommendations to improve decision making at the project, crisis and system level . Evidence and learning for the Start Fund is provided by World Vision UK.


Blog Post

Start Fund discusses localisation and anticipation in DRC

Start Fund visit to Goma, DRC: A long awaited and very welcome event. In February 2018, Melina Koutsis from the Start Fund team visited Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to facilitate the induction of our new Start Fund Regional Advisor for West and Central Africa, Antoine Sanon.


Blog Post

Ngày Qu Ốc tế Phụ nữ - International Women’s Day

On International Women’s Day, Start Network's Laura Louise Fairley pays tribute to the unsung warriors of this world, telling the stories of women in the highlands and the lowlands of Vietnam caring for their families in times of crisis.


Blog Post

Humanitarian Network and Partnerships Week

The Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Week (HNPW) is an annual programme co-chaired by United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).


Further Information

Find out more about Start Fund

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