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.
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

The Start Fund Learning Grant

In summer 2016, the Start Fund decided to revise the learning grant process and subsequently set aside one per cent of its total annual disbursement, to fund learning activities that went above and beyond project level for members of the Start Network to strengthen humanitarian response. This fund for learning maintained the name ‘one per cent learning budget’ and agencies could apply for a greater amount, anything up to £10,000 GBP, with a greater freedom of focus.


News Article

Start Fund announces launch of the 'Start Fund Learning Grant'

Start Network marks the launch of the newly branded ‘Start Fund Learning Grant’, formerly known as the ‘one percent learning budget’.


Blog Post

Day of the girl child:

When you’re a girl, crises become exponentially more dangerous, both in the immediate effects and post-crisis recovery... On the International Day of the Girl, let us commit to investing in skills training and education for girls and livelihood activities for young women around the world who are facing crises.


Case study

‘We survived Cyclone Sagar’

Start Network member, The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) was awarded Start funds to provide a rapid response to families who had been affected by Cyclone Sagar in Djibouti. According to United Nations OCHA, it is estimated 830,000 people had been affected by the cyclone and 290,000 had been temporarily displaced.


Further Information

Find out more about Start Fund

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