Migration Emergency Response Fund
Filling the gap in humanitarian responses for migrants in Africa
The Start Network’s Migration Emergency Response Fund (MERF) allows organisations to provide a rapid response to changes in needs along the migration route.
About the MERF
Adapting to fluctuating needs along the migration route
The Migration Emergency Response Fund (MERF) is a rapid response context-specific contingency fund operated and managed by the Start Network, its members, and in collaboration with its donor, UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). The objective of the MERF is to rapidly respond to acute and emerging gaps and changes in needs along migration route. It is also meant to provide support to the overall response system to give it time to adjust and adapt to new needs and to improve the effectiveness and understanding of the migration response and trends. It operates in 11 countries: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Sudan and Tunisia.
Start members can raise an alert in the following circumstances:
New/unforeseen humanitarian needs that cannot be responded to under current programming
Emergence of new vulnerable groups not covered under ongoing programmes
Clear systemic gaps that are currently not covered under ongoing programmes but have a high impact on the beneficiaries affected
How to raise a MERF alert
The new phase of the MERF is focused entirely on Africa and members of the Start Network can now respond to acute needs along the migration route.
Migration Emergency Response Fund Annual report 2017
The MERF implemented 15 projects that reached over 30,000 people.
How effective was the MERF when responding to mixed migration flows?
Types of Alert
1. Alert for a 1-3-month response - Standard response
2. Alert for a 3-6-month response – Can be used in circumstances where a slightly longer response can be strongly justified
3. Crisis Anticipation – Can be raised for 1-3 month projects where a crisis can be anticipated
Collaborative Information Collection and Analysis (CICA) grant – A grant for needs assessments, context analysis or information gathering that could be used to build a case for further funding
The MERF is funded by the British Department for International Development (DFID) and is delivered as part of a consortium project with the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
The MERF initially ran from January to December 2017 and funded 15 projects in 4 countries. Lessons from this phase have been built into the second phase of the MERF. Please find the MERF annual report here, and independent research on the MERF and Mixed Migration Flows along the Mediterranean here.
The MERF came after the Start Network had responded to migration in Europe through the European Refugees Response programmes in 2015 and 2016. You can find more information about these programmes here.
Action Against Hunger
Catholic Relief Services
Danish Refugee Council
Doctors of the World
Dorcas Aid International
Humanity & Inclusion
International Medical Corps
International Rescue Committee
Mines Advisory Group
Norweigian Refugee Council