More than 50 charities launch £3m climate emergency fund

A coalition of more than 50 charities has launched a new service with £3m in funding to help pre-empt climate emergencies. 

The financial service, which was launched today at the climate change summit COP26, aims to support the voluntary sector in tackling the climate crisis. 

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

The service, called Start Ready, is the brainchild of Start Network, a coalition of more than 50 charities including Oxfam and Save the Children.

It will provide pre-agreed funding at scale for predictable crises like droughts, flooding and heatwaves.

The service includes tools to help charities prepare for climate-related emergencies, and will make humanitarian funds available from the moment a crisis is predicted. 

It 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.

The Start Network said that the new service brought together 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 could be reached.

Christina Bennett, chief executive of the Start Network, said the humanitarian funding system was not keeping pace with the sale of the climate emergency and highlighted how despite more than half of crisis being somewhat predictable, only 1 per cent of funding was released before disaster hit.

Truus Huisman, chief communication officer at the 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. This programme will scale up locally-led disaster risk financing systems and help organisations take steps to prevent climate risks.”

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