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The Start Fund Annual Report (1 April 2017 - 31 March 2018)

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A global fund that provides rapid humanitarian aid for overlooked crises, is marking the second anniversary of the World Humanitarian Summit by sharing the impact of its 4th year, through its new annual report released today.

The Start Fund fills a critical gap in humanitarian financing. It pools funding from donors for immediate release for underfunded small to medium scale crises, spikes in chronic humanitarian crises, and to act in anticipation of impending crises.

In its fourth year alone the Start Fund spent over £8.8 million responding to the unmet needs of 2,050,546 people across 44 crises in 31 countries.

Examples of Start Fund projects implemented in its fourth year (April 2017 to March 2018), include:

• Building infrastructure to alleviate the severity of anticipated flooding in Tajikistan
• Providing safe spaces in evacuation centres for children displaced by volcanic activity in Vanuatu;
• Enabling people with disabilities to regain their freedom to move by providing immediate mobility aids after flooding in Nepal.
• Sending money quickly to help people after mudslides devastated communities in Freetown, Sierra Leone, where, despite receiving a high level of media attention, international funding was slow to arrive.
• Awarding funding to three agencies to implement life-saving rapid response programmes, after cases of cholera in Yemen led to authorities announcing a state of emergency.

The Start Fund also responded to five of the world’s 12 most forgotten crises in 2017. One such response was in the Philippines where violent clashes began in Marawi in May 2017 leaving 100,000 people in urgent need of assistance. Within days the Start Fund was alerted and a local project selection committee in Manila awarded three agencies a total of £257,721 for immediate response. The Start Fund was faster than any other funding mechanism.

In 2017 the Start Fund launched the Start Fund Bangladesh – the first national Start Fund – and this was activated three times within its first four months.

Key stats from the Start Fund’s 4th year include;

• It took on only average 65 hours from crisis alert to the award of funding, which makes the Start Fund the fastest humanitarian pool fund in the world.
• The number of crises receiving funding in anticipation of crises increased by 67%
• 30% of projects delivered cash programming
• 39% of projects were implemented with at least one local partner

Ciarán Cannon, T.D. Ireland’s Minister of State for International Development and the Diaspora, said: “Ireland is proud to have been the first donor to the Start Fund. We are also proud of the Start Fund’s enabling of frontline organisations to deliver aid to overlooked crises quickly and effectively. The Start Network helps to convert the Grand Bargain commitments, made at the World Humanitarian Summit by Ireland and other stakeholders, into real tangible support for the world’s most vulnerable people.”

Christos Papaioannou, Head of Funds at Start Network, said: “All data and evidence show that the Start Fund works. Start Network members and their local partners have provided fast and effective humanitarian aid to over two million people last year. As we will be expanding our network, the humanitarian crises that the Start Fund could support will likely increase. I can only think of how many more people this highly effective and efficient mechanism has the potential to reach in times of humanitarian emergencies. We want more humanitarian donors to join and invest in this vital global public good.”

The Start Fund is an initiative of the Start Network, a global network of aid agencies working to deliver more effective aid, harnessing the power and knowledge of the network to make faster and better decisions to help people affected by crises. It is funded by the governments of the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium and the European Commission.

Read the Start Fund’s Annual Report 2017-2018.


Notes to Editors

Start Network Twitter: @startnetwork
The Start Network is made up of 42 national and international aid agencies from five continents. Their aim is to deliver effective aid, harnessing the power and knowledge of the network to make faster and better decisions to help people affected by crises.

The Start Fund is the first multi-donor pooled fund managed exclusively by NGOs and was created in April 2014 to fill a gap in humanitarian funding. The Start Fund is backed by UK aid, the UK Department for International Development, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Irish Aid, the Irish Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Belgian Development Cooperation and the European Commission's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department.

Members of Start Network: Action Against Hunger (ACF); ACTED; Action Aid; Adeso; Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA); ARDD-Legal Aid; CADENA; CAFOD; Care International; Caritas Bangladesh; Caritas Sri Lanka; Catholic Relief Services (CRS); Christian Aid; Community World Service Asia; Concern Worldwide; Cordaid; Doctors of the World; Dorcas; Goal; Humanity & Inclusion; Help Age International; International Medical Corps; International Rescue Committee (IRC); Islamic Relief Worldwide; Mines Advisory Group; Mercy Corps; Muslim Aid; Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC); Oxfam; PARC; Plan International; PRO-VIDA; Qatar Charity; Relief International; Save the Children; Solidarites International; Tearfund; Trocaire; War Child; Welthungerhilfe; World Jewish Relief; World Vision