FAO Liaison Office in Brussels

Briefing on the Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation

18/03/2021

The Division for Emergencies and Resilience, the FAO Liaison Office in Brussels, and the Kingdom of Belgium co-organized a briefing on the Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation (SFERA). As the first and largest supporter of the fund, Belgium provides FAO with the financial means and flexibility to react promptly when disasters strike and to take early action in response to early signs of impending crises, reducing the time between funding decisions and response on the ground.

The briefing drew the participation of key stakeholders from the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Brussels and Belgian Embassy representatives around the globe. It was opened by Frank Carruet, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to Italy and the United Nations in Rome, and moderated by Director for Humanitarian Aid and Transition, Erik de Maeyer.

In his introduction to the event, FAO Brussels Director a.i. Rodrigo de Lapuerta pointed to the strong level of cooperation between FAO and Belgium and praised the un-earmarked and innovative character of most of its financing.

FAO Director for Emergencies and Resilience, Dominique Burgeon, and his team explained the key components and geographic coverage of FAO’s SFERA fund, and provided an overview of the projects funded under SFERA over the last three years and clarified how the fund helps FAO to respond to various types of crises, including sudden-onset emergencies, protracted and deteriorating situations, and ongoing crises which tend to be forgotten over time. He highlighted the value of Belgium’s role as one of the first and most active donors to respond to emergencies.

FAO Country Representatives from Niger, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali and Lebanon shared some of the concrete results of projects supported through the fund in their respective countries.

The session ended with a lively question-and-answer session.