World

COP26: New Global Financial Service Launches to Protect Most Vulnerable from Climate Crisis – Before Disaster Hits

by Emily Montier

A new global financial service that will support the humanitarian sector tackle the climate crisis is launching today at COP26, with funding from the UK Government, the French Government, the IKEA Foundation and Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.

The service, Start Ready, is the brainchild of Start Network, a coalition of over 50 humanitarian charities, including Oxfam, Save the Children, Help Foundation and CADENA, and will help revolutionise humanitarian action in the era of escalating climate emergencies.

Start Ready includes tools to help charities prepare for climate-related emergencies, and makes humanitarian funds available from the moment a crisis is predicted.

It will provide pre-agreed funding at scale for predictable crises like droughts, flooding and heatwaves. The service is based on locally led action and intelligence, and uses innovative risk analysis, collective planning, pre-agreed triggers, and pre-positioned financing to anticipate and respond to needs around the world.

By marrying a combination of global finance principles of ‘risk pooling’ to make funds stretch further, data modelling to anticipate disasters before they strike, and local humanitarian action to ensure the most vulnerable can be reached, Start Ready will help to protect more lives and livelihoods.

The service launches with commitments of £3 million, including £1 million from the UK Government, €250,000 from the French Government, €500,000 from the IKEA Foundation and $2 million USD from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.

Christina Bennett, CEO of Start Network, said: “The climate emergency is escalating rapidly, but the global humanitarian funding system is not keeping pace. Although 55% of crises are somewhat predictable, only 1% of humanitarian funding is released before disaster strikes*. We are delighted to launch Start Ready. Pre-emptive climate risk financing will revolutionise the aid sector by making funding more efficient and effective. It will help communities become more resilient to climate risks – and save more lives.”

Vel Gnanendran, Climate and Environment Director, UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, said: "The UK has committed £1 million to Start Ready to help organisations deliver earlier and more effective humanitarian action across up to eight countries – protecting more lives and livelihoods from climate-related emergencies."

Truus Huisman, Chief Communication Officer, IKEA Foundation, said: “The climate crisis is also a humanitarian crisis. Vulnerable children, families and communities are already feeling its impacts. By acting now, we can help communities to be prepared. That’s why the IKEA Foundation is supporting Start Ready. This programme will scale up locally-led disaster risk financing systems and help organisations take steps to prevent climate risks.”

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Notes to editors

For more information about Start Ready, visit: startnetwork.org/start-ready

*Analysis of humanitarian financing from 2014 - 2019 found that funding pre-organised in advance, based on pre-agreed triggers or plans (predominantly through regional risk pools and anticipatory humanitarian action systems) was equivalent to less than 1% of the UN appeals funding. However, more than 50% of humanitarian crises are somewhat predictable. https://startnetwork.org/resource/acting-ahead-crises-how-far-do-we-go

Contacts: Felicity Slater: felicity.slater@digacommunications.com / +44 (0)7931 565 986

Helen James: helen.james@startnetwork.org / +44 (0)7887 853 071

Start Network: www.startnetwork.org @startnetwork

Start Network is a global network of more than 50 national and international aid agencies from five continents, working to tackle the biggest systemic problems in the humanitarian action sector. The network is revolutionising humanitarian action through innovation, fast funding, early action, and locally led action. Visit our website to see a full list of members.