UK: New fund for innovative technologies for humanitarian crises

The UK will set up a new fund to back mobile, text and other innovative technologies which can be used to help those hit by humanitarian crises - such as earthquakes, floods or drought.

The new initiative was announced on 21 February 2013 by International Development Secretary Justine Greening. It has been created with the US Government and will be used to scale up existing projects and processes that use technology or innovation to support humanitarian responses across the world.

Justine Greening said: "New technology has the power to transform our response to humanitarian crises. We are already trialling the use of mobile phone apps, text alerts and GPS technology in humanitarian crises. The more focused and effective our response to disasters, the more quickly people can rebuild their homes and their lives and the further our money will stretch. This new fund will find the technologies and innovations that work best and scale them up so they can be used across the world."

The fund will invest up to £9.5 million ($15 million) in projects that have already been successfully tested at scale. Projects still at the pilot scale can apply for grants of up to £630,000 ($1 million). The UK is contributing £2.6m to the Development Innovation Ventures Humanitarian Initiative.