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New emergency fund launched for facing humanitarian crises

DHAKA- Emergency aid will be able to reach communities in Bangladesh more quickly through a new local crisis response fund set up by a global network of aid agencies.

The 10 million pound Start Fund Bangladesh, designed to enable aid agencies to respond early and fast to under-the-radar emergencies, has been set up by the Start Network and is funded by the UK government.

"From this month it can activate funding within 72-hours of receiving a crisis alert, and is accessible to national and international Start Network member NGOs within Bangladesh," Start Network said in a release here yesterday.

Established in April 2014 to fill a gap in humanitarian funding, the Start Fund is the first multi-donor pooled fund managed exclusively by non- government organisations (NGOs).

It is modelled on the successful Start Fund, which has enabled quick response to floods, earthquakes, droughts and refugee crises in 51 countries over the past three years. It has 42 members spanning five continents.

The UK's Department for International Development (DFID) Bangladesh office has been working with Start Network to set up the fund.

The global Start Fund has responded to four alerts within Bangladesh over the past three years, making 1,550,000 pound available to assist communities affected by crisis.

The new fund will be able to tackle more such crises, drawing on local expertise and knowledge. It will also draw on work by the global Start Fund on crisis anticipation, aimed at responding to a foreseeable crisis before it hits.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)