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.


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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 governments of the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Jersey and the IKEA Foundation. 

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.
Read more in the Start Network annual report.

People reached


People reached

Crisis alerts raised


Crisis alerts raised

Crises responded to


Crises responded to

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

Blog Post

Sensibilisation au COVID-19 en Republique Democratique du Congo

En juillet 2020, MIDEFEHOPS (Mouvement international pour les droits des enfants, des femmes et des veufs et leur promotion sociale) était l'un des huit membres nationaux et locaux sélectionnés pour participer à un fonds Covid-19 dédié, avec des réponses en RDC, en Inde et au Pakistan. À la suite de l'examen des propositions par des comités de sélection de projets composés de membres locaux, les agences ont reçu 30 000 £ pour répondre à Covid-19 dans leur zone cible. MIDEFEHOPS a utilisé ce financement pour distribuer des masques de protection et du matériel d'hygiène aux groupes vulnérables à Bunagana zone de santé de Rwanguba, RDC, ainsi que du matériel IEC (Information, Education et Communication), sous forme de dépliants et d'affiches, pour transmettre des messages comportementaux sur la façon de se protéger contre Covid- 19.


Blog Post

Raising awareness about COVID-19 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

In July 2020, MIDEFEHOPS (International Movement for the Rights of Children, Women and Widowers and their Social Advancement) was awarded £30,000 to respond to COVID-19 in their target area. They used this funding to distribute masks and hygiene materials to vulnerable groups in Bunagana, Rwanguba health zone, as well as Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials, in the form of leaflets and posters, to convey behavioural messaging on how to protect against COVID-19.



Start Fund COVID-19: An Overview

As the COVID-19 pandemic started to spread and affect countries and communities all around the world, Start Network recognised the importance of utilising the experience of its members to manage and support responses to critical COVID-19-related humanitarian needs. As a result, a COVID-19 context-specific rapid response fund was established, drawing from the principles and best practices of the global Start Fund.


News Article

German Federal Foreign Office supports innovative programme for early humanitarian action

The German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO) has announced its support of €4.5 million for a programme of activities that will embed early humanitarian action across a global network of NGOs.


Further Information

Find out more about Start Fund

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