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 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.
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

Blog Post

How the Start Fund helps to leverage additional support for under-the-radar crises

Since 2017 the Start Fund reporting systems have included a section on the leveraging of additional funds. In 2018 the total amount secured in additional funding was reported to be £64 million, more than five times the amount that was awarded by the Start Fund in the first place.


Blog Post

Relief aid a lifeline for flood-affected villages in Myanmar

Myanmar's annual rainy season brought devastating floods to villages in Hpa-An and Bago this year. People were stranded in their homes or forced to flee them. Schools were closed. Harvests were wiped out. Livestock killed.


Blog Post

A rapid response to flooding in Sierra Leone

Continual heavy rains in Freetown, Sierra Leone, triggered flooding in the country's capital damaging homes, washing away livestock and destroying livelihoods. The Start Fund was alerted to the crisis in early August and awarded rapid responding funding to Action Aid, Care International, Catholic Relief Services and Oxfam to help meet the needs of those affected.


Blog Post

Start Fund awarded responses: September

October saw the Start Fund respond on a global level to seven alerts, awarding just under £1.5million to rapid responses to fires, flooding, earthquakes, and displacement alerts Read more. 


Further Information

Find out more about Start Fund

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