Save the Children delays launch of emergency response fund

Helen Warrell

Save the Children has delayed the launch of a fund to help its emergency team react more quickly to humanitarian disasters.

The Rapid Response Fund was due to be publicised at an evening reception on 19 October, but the event has been postponed because "not enough emergency staff" can be in the UK in time for the opening, according to a spokeswoman for the charity.

"At the moment, we have a large number of emergency-preparedness courses taking place abroad, which are taking precedence over this launch," she said.

The reception, which offered "a unique opportunity to meet aid workers brought together from their postings around the world, and gain insights into working in an emergency situation", will now happen on 17 January.

The idea behind the fund is to raise reserves that can be deployed as a "large cash injection" at the start of an emergency response so resources can reach beneficiaries as quickly as possible. So far, the charity has relied on donations to fund the response, but this method is often too slow.

Money raised from the fund will provide items such as blankets, tarpaulins, cooking sets, jerry cans and hygiene kits, as well as high-energy food for displaced children. It could also help to pay for kits to make sure play areas are safe for children in extreme situations.

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