ABIDJAN — Within just two days of requesting help to respond to devastating mudslides in Sierra Leone last month, relief organizations secured 355,262 pounds ($472,685) in funding from a unique pooled fund, the Start Fund.
ActionAid, Oxfam, Save the Children, International Rescue Committee, and Plan International alerted the fund of the dire need for rapid financial assistance after Aug. 14 mudslides flattened the homes of thousands and left hundreds missing. The Start Fund allocation became active Aug. 18, making it among the first financial mechanisms to support victims.
The Start Fund is hoping to make this rapid turnover the norm in emergency response funding. This multi-donor pooled fund is managed exclusively by a network of more than 40 NGOs. It provides small-scale grants to emergencies faster than most financial mechanisms in the humanitarian space — within 72 hours of notification from local organizations following an emergency or disaster. Depending on the emergency, funds typically support nutrition, protection, shelter, or education.
“We want to address the urgent need to bridge the humanitarian funding gap and further try to mitigate the deterioration of the situation,” Alessandra Gilotta, operations manager of Start Fund, told Devex.