Start Fund

Filling a gap in the humanitarian sector

The Start Fund was created to fill a gap in humanitarian funding. It enables NGOs to make collective decisions on the basis of need alone and to respond early and fast to ‘under the radar’ emergencies.


Start Fund> How it works| Alerts| Anticipation| National Funds| Learning

About the Fund

The first multi-donor pooled fund managed exclusively by NGOs

The Start Fund provides small-scale grants for small to medium scale emergencies that often receive little funding. Projects are chosen by local committees, made up of staff from Start members and their NGO partners, within 72 hours of an alert. This makes the Start Fund the fastest, collectively-owned, early response mechanism in the world.

New: Crisis Anticipation Window

The Start Fund Crisis Anticipation Window is designed to facilitate anticipatory interventions. It enables our member agencies to analyse forecasting information, collectively assess risks, and access flexible funding to respond early and reduce suffering.

Read more.

Underfunded emergencies

Response to small to medium scale emergencies that often receive little funding;

Early response

Early response to slow-onset crises to protect at-risk communities;

Fast response

Fast response to both rapid-onset crises and spikes in chronic humanitarian crises.

The Start Fund niche

Filling the Gap


Up to date stats 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


Average hours between alert and response

Alerts in # countries


Alerts in # countries

Pounds disbursement


Pounds disbursement


Funding the right solutions at the right time

Flooding in India

On 15 November Christian Aid alerted the Start Fund to flooding in Tamil Nadu, India. The project selection committee met in New Delhi and awarded £55,000 to CARE and World Vision for immediate flood relief for 5,600 people.

Crisis response summary

Ricymar Photography

Internally displaced people in Afghanistan

On Monday 12 October, the Start Fund was alerted to the surge in violence and resulting displacement of people in Northeast Afghanistan. The project selection committee met in Kabul and awarded £440,000 to Christian Aid, Concern, Handicap International and Save the Children.

Crisis response summary

Burundi refugee response

The Start Fund was alerted on 21 May to political violence in Burundi which led to people being displaced into neighbouring countries. Three projects by Plan International, Oxfam and Help Age International were funded which led to a collaborative response.

Crisis response summary

Latest news

News Article

Bangladesh emergency response fund set up by Start Network

The Start Network is setting up a £10 million rapid response fund, which will respond early and fast to under the radar emergencies in Bangladesh.


Blog Post

Spotlight on the Start Fund

In late 2016, the Start Fund was alerted to an outbreak of dengue fever in Burkina Faso. Read ALIMA's account of their efforts to combat the disease.


Blog Post

Christmas on Catanduanes island as Typhoon Nock-Ten hit

When Typhoon Nock-Ten made landfall on December 25, Joana Villaflor had just arrived home for Christmas on Catanduanes island. Joana, a member of On Call Surge Philippines, a shared roster set up by the Start Network’s Transforming Surge Capacity project, gives an account of the days following the typhoon.


Blog Post

Creating a Start Fund in Bangladesh

Start Network's Annemarie Poorterman tells us more about her work to set up a national version of the Start Fund in Bangladesh.


Further Information

Find out more about Start Fund

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