The month of October saw the highest number of Start Fund awarded responses in one single month. From awarding responses to cross-border displacement in Ecuador and Peru to anticipating a volcanic eruption in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) it was the highest alerting and activated month in the history of the Start Fund, where 13 alerts from 15 were activated. In comparison, the previous highest alerting month which was August 2016 had 11 alerts, of which 7 were activated.
The graph shows that as Start Fund has matured, it has seen a general increase in year on year alerts, activations and thus, awarded responses for medium to small level crises or those crises where there is a fundamental funding gap to be filled.
October’s high number of awarded responses coincided with a seasonal peak for rains and flooding, where almost half (6) of the alerts were for this type of crises, and 5 were awarded rapid funding from the Start Fund. The graph below further exemplifies, the fundamental funding gaps the Start Fund is filling in current socio-economic crises such as the economic displacement from Venezuela or ongoing conflict in the East and Central Africa.
Below is a summary of the Start Fund Awarded Responses during October.
ALERT 267: CROSS COUNTRY DISPLACEMENT - PERU
Currently Venezuelan displaced people in Peru number 451,427, which makes Peru host to the second largest number of Venezuelans after Colombia.
- Most people arrive in a deteriorated state of health, having gone without food for several days
- With little or no economic resources and families have been unable to cover the most basic needs for themselves and their families
The Start Fund was alerted to this cross-border displacement on the 3rd of October by World Vision, Care International, and Save the Children, and members agreed to activate the alert the following day. Within 72 hours, funding was awarded to Save the Children and World Vision in a consortium with Care International to fill a gap in this under-funded humanitarian context and respond to the most urgent, life-saving needs of those displaced.
ALERT 268: FLOODING IN NIGERIA
Widespread flooding across 12 states in Nigeria affected more than 441,250 people and displaced a further 141,360 people.
- Over 13,000 homes were damaged
- Survivors left in desperate need of food, shelter, medical aid and essential items
On being alerted to the disaster, the Start Fund awarded a consortium of Care International, Christian Aid and CAFOD who planned to reach affected people in Kogi, Delta and Anambra states; and ActionAid who planned to reach both Kogi and Niger states.
The awarded consortium members and Action Aid reached displaced and affected families with cash for work vouchers, shelter, hygiene kits including essential items.
ALERT 269: FLOODING IN HONDURAS
Heavy rains in Honduras caused widespread flooding and landslides across the country.
- More than 12,000 people were affected by the floods
- Hundreds of homes were damaged, with more than 600 families forced to flee
The Start Fund awarded funding to Care International and World Vision to reach affected families with hygiene and sanitation kits including baby comfort kits alongside the distribution of clean drinking water.
ALERT 270: FLOODING IN EL SALVADOR
In early October, heavy rainfall from two low pressure systems led to devastating flash floods and landslides in El Salvador.
- More than a 1000 people were forced to leave their homes for temporary shelter in schools
The Start Fund, responded immediately, awarding £199,259 to Pro Vida and World Vision to undertake a rapid emergency intervention in affected areas of Ahuachapán Department, Sonsonate Department and Usulután Department where they have a long-established presence and trust of the community.
Both Pro Vida and World Vision are responding in the worst affected areas, providing affected families with essential items, food and healthcare.
ALERT 271: DISPLACEMENT IN ETHIOPIA
Ongoing insecurity and ethnic violence within the country has forced thousands in the Benishangul Gumuz and Oromia regions to flee their homes.
- More than 100,000 people internally displaced
- Urgent humanitarian needs included food, shelter and essential healthcare
Start Fund awarded Plan International, Action Aid and Save the Children with funds to reach those displaced with hygiene and sanitation kits alongside shelter and essential items. Working alongside local agencies, sensitisation and educational activities around health and hygiene were conducted helping to prevent the spread of diseases amongst the more vulnerable such as the infant and elderly within temporary shelters.
ALERT 273: ANTICIPATION OF VOLCANIC ACTIVITY IN THE DRC
Nyiragongo volcano, 18km of north of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo presents a constant threat to communities living with the surrounding areas. Past experiences show that an eruption would cause significant damage to infrastructure, destroy agriculture and leave many people displaced and with casualties.
- There is a high need to prepare communities to the likelihood of an eruption
Action Aid, CAFOD and Christian Aid were awarded funding from the Start Fund on the 26th of October to engage with local decision makers and ensure preparedness activities alongside evacuation and shelter plans were communicated with the local communities.
ALERT 274: DISPLACEMENT IN CAMEROON
The country’s presidential elections was coupled with electoral violence in the anglophone regions of Northwest and Southwest Cameroon. The outbreak of violence exacerbated the already significant number of people fleeing internal communal violence since late August.
- More than 246,000 internally displaced
- Those more recently displaced in urgent need of food, shelter and basic healthcare
The Start Fund activated the alert within 24 hours of being alerted to the crisis, awarding funding to Plan International two days later. Plan International reached those displaced with hygiene and dignity kits alongside providing access to free healthcare to infants under 5 years of age. To prevent the spread of diseases within temporary shelters, community health workers were trained to conduct basic hygiene and sensitisation awareness activities amongst those displaced.
ALERT 275: LANDSLIDES IN UGANDA
Floodwaters triggered by a landslide washed away much of the town of Bukalasi and surrounding towns in the district of Bududa, in northern Uganda in early October.
- 46 people were killed and more than 850 displaced
The Start Fund was alerted by Catholic Relief Services and World Vision on the 17th of October and members agreed to activate the alert the following day. Within 72 hours funding was awarded to Catholic Relief Services in consortium with World Vision to respond to the urgent, life-saving needs of those displaced.
Food distributions alongside Cash for Work activities to both displaced families and their hosts helped to provide immediate relief and enabled survivors to begin rebuilding their lives.
ALERT 276: CROSS BORDER DISPLACEMENT - ANGOLA/DRC
Over 200,000 DRC national returning from Angola (where they fled during conflict) are displaced within the greater Kasai region of the DRC. Having arrived in the region with very little, many have suffered violent and human right abuses.
- More than 257,000 DRC nationals are displaced
- Those displaced and the host communities with the Kasai region are facing food insecurity and a cholera outbreak
Start Fund awarded Action Against Hunger (ACF); Humanity & Inclusion, HelpAge International; Oxfam; War Child to reach those affected with essential items, temporary shelter, hygiene kits and access to clean water to meet the immediate needs of those displaced.
Find out more information on Start Fund alerts on our alerts dashboard & interactive map.