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New models for anticipatory and rapid response funding

Donors are changing their expectations. The UK government believes the cost of preparing for and responding to natural hazards should be financed through government-led and private sector partnered arrangements, which draw on insurance and other risk-based finances in order to ensure standby funds.

There is an increasing number of national ‘safety net’ funding initiatives designed to support those at risk before or in the early stages of a crisis. An established example would be the National Productive Safety Net Programme in Ethiopia, set up in 2008 during a period of prolonged rainfall uncertainty (in 2009 the rains failed completely). Chronically food insecure households were targeted with increased cash and food transfers, based on ongoing agency assessments of conditions, in order to prevent extreme malnourishment and deaths (IFRC 2014).

The UK government (DfID) in collaboration with the IFRC is increasingly providing funding for rapid and anticipatory response of Start Network humanitarian agencies.

Your task

Go to the Start Fund website at: https://startnetwork.org/new-financing

Using the alerts dashboard identify the range of threats and hazards we are now able to anticipate: https://startnetwork.org/start-fund/alerts

Many of the responses have a crisis response summary that can be downloaded. These summaries give an overview of the funds, those reached, activation time and lessons learned.

Choose an ‘alert’ with a crisis summary, read it and research a previous similar event in that country. Does the Start Fund system appear to have improved the response on balance?


IFRC (2014). Early Warning Early Action: Mechanisms for Rapid Decision Making. [online] Available from: http://www.droughtmanagement.info/literature/IFRC_Early_Warning_Early_Action_2014.pdf Accessed on [9 May 2019]

Start Network. (2018). New forms of financing. [online] Available from: https://startnetwork.org/new-financing Accessed on [9 May 2019].

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This article is from the free online course:

Humanitarian Action, Response and Relief

Coventry University