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The Start Fund rapidly responds to its 300th crisis alert

Acting in anticipation of upcoming elections

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Enabling agencies in Nigeria to act early in anticipation of upcoming elections has become the focus of the 300th alert by the Start Fund.

Elections in Nigeria will take place on Saturday, with historic tensions risking vulnerable people in particular, peace-building activities by local organisation will be the focus in the coming days.

The 300th alert to the Start Fund shows why the mechanism is so badly needed. The Start Fund fills a critical gap in global humanitarian financing by providing rapid and early funding to under the radar small to medium scale crises, spikes in chronic humanitarian crises, and in anticipation of impending crises.

The  Start Fund anticipated this crisis based on forecasts, awarding funding to Tearfund and Norwegian Refugee Council to undertake a rapid anticipatory intervention in Nigeria, where both have long-established presence and the trust of the local community.

Tearfund’s project will be implemented through Tearfund and Christian Aid, along with existing local partners (CRUDAN, CCDP, RURCON, SUWA, CAACP, POD of ECWA, FAF, TEAM) Bauchi, Plateau  Benue   (CBDD-NGO Forum) and government agencies. This approach of working through local partners will facilitate timely access and strengthen the building of local capacities to ensure project sustainability and to encourage local solutions.

 Norwegian Refugee Council will conduct systematic and timely needs assessments, trigger alerts, collect and analyse data, as well as disseminate and collaborate with other humanitarian agencies. They will preposition core relief kits in strategic locations in order to rapidly-respond when needs arise in Borno and Adamawa states.

Start Fund are increasingly enabling early action through raising anticipatory alerts, supporting NGO’s to prepare when they see a crisis coming and respond early to mitigate the predicted impacts. Since the opening of the Start Fund Anticipation process in November 2016, Start Fund have raised 32 anticipation alerts and continue to scale up the capacity of members to raise alerts.

The Start Fund was alerted to the crisis by Tearfund, supported by CAFOD and Christian Aid, on February 12th and members agreed to activate the alert the following day. Within 48 hours, funding was awarded to Tearfund and Norwegian Refugee Council in this time-critical context. The activities on the ground has just begun.

Tearfund’s project aims to reach 255,000 beneficiaries from 36,000 households across four high risk States and will strengthen critical components of preparedness. This will include capacity strengthening of various functions (including media outlets) within the identified States, rapid assessments, facilitating dialogue meetings and cash distribution. Norwegian Refugee Council’s project will preposition core relief kits, with basic Shelter/NFI/WASH items, in strategic locations in order to rapidly-respond when needs arise in Borno and Adamawa states. The rapid response intervention will meet the immediate WASH and shelter needs of 600 households.

The response marks a significant milestone for the Start Fund, a pooled rapid-response fund, awarding funding to the 300th alerted crisis since it was launched in April 2014. The fund, run collectively by 42 members of the global Start Network, was set up to tackle under-the-radar emergencies or sudden spikes in humanitarian need within longer-running crises, thus filling the gap in more traditional sources of funding.

The Fund aims for its collective decisions to be impartial and objective, and to have money on its way within 72 hours of an alert being raised. It is supported by the British, Irish, Dutch, German, and Jersey governments. It has enabled emergency aid to reach over nine million people affected by crisis in 59 countries.

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  • by Sarah Klassen

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