Belgium allocates 1 million euro to the Start Fund, an innovative NGO fund for a faster humanitarian response

Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation, has decided to allocate 1 million euro to the Start Fund. This fund is managed by the Start Network, an international network of humanitarian NGO’s. The Start Fund’s objective is to reduce the funding gap within the current humanitarian system for small to medium-sized humanitarian crises.

Given the growing frequency and severity of humanitarian crises, whether of natural or human origin, humanitarian needs continue to grow all over the world. As the number of severe crises increases, small to medium-sized crises become more and more neglected or under-financed. The objective of the Start Fund is to provide help to these crises and geographical zones which have been forgotten or which are not covered by other humanitarian actors. The Start Fund is managed collectively by 42 international and local NGO’s. Funds are disbursed within 72 hours following an alert, which makes the Start Fund the fastest intervention mechanism in the world.

« Many victims of small and medium humanitarian crises in the world are forgotten. Through our support of the Start Fund we support local and swift solutions for these underfunded disasters. This is another innovative approach through which Belgium wants to improve the efficiency of the humanitarian system », declared Alexander De Croo.

Belgian humanitarian NGO’s, such as Caritas International, Handicap International or Oxfam are members of the Start Network and can therefore benefit from its funding. In 2017, the Start Fund has helped among others victims of humanitarian crises in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, Mali and Nigeria.

In 2018, Belgium will continue to invest in innovative humanitarian projects, which provide an answer to the challenges to which the humanitarian system is being confronted to.