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

Start Fund awarded responses: June

June witnessed the first ever alert and allocation for Paraguay, as well as the first anticipation alert in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. Read how the Start Fund responded to several under-reported crises during the month.


Blog Post

Start Fund awarded responses: May

May saw a quieter month for the Start Fund with only two Start Fund alerts activated in a global context of higher-profile alerts.


Blog Post

Start Fund awarded responses: April

The month of April saw a diverse range of alerts raised by our members; however, amidst a context of multiple high-profile crises, the Start Fund responded to three important and under-the-radar alerts.


Case study

In words: The spread of Lassa Fever in rural Nigeria

A collection of eye witness accounts from frontline staff on the Start Fund awarded response to a Lassa Fever outbreak in Nigeria. 


Further Information

Find out more about Start Fund

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