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New UK support to strengthen local level response to crises

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Start Network
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by Rya Ducusin, 16 May 22

The British Embassy in Kathmandu (BEK) has announced its continued support to anticipate and rapidly respond to crises through Start Network by providing an additional £ 1.5 million in funding to Start Fund Nepal.

The announcement follows a successful pilot phase which was launched in April 2021. The pilot saw Start Networkmembers work together with Nepali NGOs to support families whose homes and agricultural land were damaged by floods in Sindhupalchok (June 2021), Kanchanpur and Nawalpawasi (August 2021), and Kailali, Bardiya and Sunsari (October 2021) districts. Most recently, Start Network members and partners helped communities to prepare for a cold wave in Bardiya, Banke, Kapilbastu, Siraha, Saptari, Kalikot, Jumla and Mugu districts (December 2021). Since its inception, Start Fund Nepal has assisted more than 35,000 people.

“I have not yet come across such collective action, especially for an effective response,” Anil Pokhrel, Chief Executive of Nepal’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority emphasised during a Lessons Learned workshop organized by Start Fund Nepal in Kathmandu on April 7.

The country’s complex geography can make it difficult for help to reach those affected by hazards such as flooding, landslides and earthquakes. Start Fund Nepal will enable its members to work with communities and national organizations to work towards mitigating the impacts of both climate and human-related shocks, making the most of local knowledge and expertise and financial support.

Start Network members have mapped out the next steps for Start Fund Nepal as the country potentially faces extreme climate change risks among other hazards soon. With renewed commitment and support from the British embassy in Kathmandu, Start Fund Nepal will be able to scale up its processes and respond to crises with increased efficacy.

British Ambassador to Nepal, Her Excellency Nicola Pollitt emphasizes:

“With the monsoon season coming up in Nepal, we are glad to be supporting Start Fund Nepal to enable a swift and suitable humanitarian response in the event of a natural hazard. Local knowledge and preparation are key to saving lives. I am glad Start Fund’s approach takes advantage of the combined expertise of Nepal’s national organizations.”

Start Fund Nepal has partnered with Nepali Technical Assistance Group (NTAG) since 2021 in various humanitarian initiatives. Deepak Thapa, Executive Director of NTAG expresses his high regard for the pilot, noting:

“The most striking and extraordinary feature of the Start Fund Nepal is the prompt address to mitigate the sufferings of the victims of the disaster.”

Pramila Subedi, Start Fund Nepal Programme Manager, highlights the pressing need and collective appeal for a more localised governance system within the initiative as it pivots to wider scale operations saying:

“There was a strong call to enhance Start Fund Nepal’s governance and decision-making with civil society organisations expressing their desire to take ownership and play more of a leadership role to accelerate localisation.”

Start Fund Nepal has harnessed the strengths of more than 21 non-governmental organizations working in humanitarian action. It is committed to accelerating locally led action through increased engagement with more local and national actors.

Start Network, a global network of humanitarian agencies, is comprised of more than 50 members globally with 15 operating in Nepal.

If you are interested in supporting Start Fund Nepal, please contact our Resource Mobilisation team via: fundraising@startnetwork.org