FAO emergencies and resilience

News

Deputy Director-General Maurizio Martina points out the catastrophic damage induced by the conflict across the entire food supply chain

News

Deputy Director-General Beth Bechdol urges game-changing solutions to break the vicious loop between climate crisis, conflict and hunger

News

As conflict rages across Sudan, agriculture – a key pillar of food and income – is jeopardized for millions of people. Yet, some farmers have held the line. This photo series celebrates those farmers who cultivate against the odds to feed their families – and the nation.

News

UN agency issues call for urgent action in wake of Integrated Food Security Phase Classification report

News

Visiting FAO emergency and resilience project sites in Borno state

In 2023, over 39 donors provided $900 million to FAO emergency and resilience activities in 74 countries.

SFERA – Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities


What is SFERA? 
The Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities (SFERA) was established in 2004 to enhance FAO’s capacity to rapidly respond to emergency situations. Through strategic resource partner funding, SFERA provides FAO with the financial means and flexibility to react promptly to humanitarian crises, reducing the time between funding decision and action on the ground.

Why invest in SFERA? Most of the poor and hungry depend on renewable natural resources for their livelihoods. These natural resource-based livelihoods are most affected by natural hazards, transboundary animal and plant pests and diseases, socioeconomic shocks, conflict and protracted crises, making smallholder farmers, fishers and herders more vulnerable to shocks.

During a crisis, many productive assets such as seeds, livestock and fishing gear are lost. FAO’s first priority is to help affected farming families produce their own food, rebuild their lives and livelihoods as quickly as possible while strengthening their resilience.

When effective agriculture-based response is delayed, communities suffer a domino effect of further losses that plunge them deeper into poverty and reliance on external aid.

Benefits

Working capital

The working capital component allows to advance funds when there is a donor’s commitment to fund a project and before funds are released. It reduces the reaction time to emergencies by enabling FAO to initiate activities and purchase the most critical assets before funding from resource partners is received. By enabling a rapid response, this component helps to mitigate the impact of threats and emergencies. 

Revolving fund

The revolving fund component supports the efforts of FAO’s emergency country teams to identify the most critical needs of affected populations, strengthen response capacity, and develop and coordinate technically sound response programmes. For example, it provides the possibility to deploy staff and organize needs assessments. Through the Level 3 emergency preparedness and response window, FAO can prepare for and respond to the extraordinary challenges facing the agriculture sector during a Level 3 emergency.

Programme

The programme component facilitates faster and more programmatic assistance that can be tailored to evolving needs on the ground. SFERA’s pooled funding approach provides the flexibility to adjust activities and support them according to the geographical and thematic areas of greatest need.

The programme component has three windows:

  • Large-scale Programme window supports big emergency programmes (e.g., highly pathogenic avian influenza, El Niño, desert locust, COVID-19 pandemic, etc.). Funds from resource partners are flexibly allocated according to evolving needs and priorities on the ground;
  • Agricultural Inputs Response Capacity window channels pooled funds from resource partners towards the immediate procurement and delivery of time-critical inputs;
  • Anticipatory Action window enables FAO to act early once an impending threat has been identified, before disaster losses are sustained or livelihoods are compromized.

How to contribute?

  • Provide unearmarked direct contributions to SFERA’s revolving fund.
  • Authorize the transfer of interests or unspent balances from closed projects to SFERA’s revolving fund.
  • Allocate a grant to a programme for more strategic assistance to a specific crisis.
  • Provide funding to SFERA’s Agricultural Inputs Response Capacity and Anticipatory Action window for specific agricultural input assistance.

Through SFERA annual reports, resource partners receive yearly information on the activities and results achieved, as well as project highlights and stories below.

FAO seeks to further expand its partnership with resource partners through SFERA as an effective means to respond rapidly to shocks, maximize the impact on beneficiaries and increase the cost-effectiveness of preparedness, anticipatory action and emergency response, thereby reducing the need for costly external assistance in the longer term.

Publications
Publications
West Africa and the Sahel: Germany’s contribution through the Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities (SFERA) – Anticipatory Action window
07/2023

In Central America’s Dry Corridor, long periods of drought interspersed with heavy rains threaten the food security of vulnerable populations.

Publications
Dry Corridor: Canada’s contribution through the Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities (SFERA) – Anticipatory Action window
07/2023

In Central America’s Dry Corridor, long periods of drought interspersed with heavy rains threaten the food security of vulnerable populations.

Publications
Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities: Briefing note
03/2023

The Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities (SFERA), established in 2004, enhances the capacity of the Food and Agriculture Organization...


Resource partners to FAO emergency and resilience activities in 2022
ABU DHABI AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SAFTETY AUTHORITY
AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK
ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK
AUSTRALIA
BELGIUM
BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION
BRAZIL
CANADA
CENTRAL AMERICAN BANK OF ECONOMIC INTEGRATION
CHINA
CZECHIA
DENMARK
DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR EUROPEAN CIVIL PROTECTION AND HUMANITARIAN AID OPERATIONS 
EUROPEAN UNION
FRANCE
GERMANY
GLOBAL AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY PROGRAMME
GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT FACILITY
GREEN CLIMATE FUND
IKEA FOUNDATION
INTERNATIONAL FUND FOR AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION
IRELAND
ITALY
JAPAN
KING SALMAN HUMANITARIAN AID AND RELIEF CENTRE
KUWAIT
LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES FUND
LOUIS DREYFUS FOUNDATION
MALTA

MASTERCARD FOUNDATION
MINDEROO FOUNDATION
NEW ZEALAND
NORWAY
OFFICE FOR THE COORDINATION OF HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS
OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES
PEACEBUILDING FUND
PORTUGAL
QATAR
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
SLOVENIA
SPAIN
SWEDEN
SWITZERLAND
TELEFOOD
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND
UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN'S FUND
UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME
UNITED NATIONS MULTIDIMENSIONAL INTEGRATED STABILIZATION MISSION IN MALI
UNITED NATIONS OFFICE FOR PROJECT SERVICES
UNITED NATIONS OFFICE ON DRUGS AND CRIME
UNITED NATIONS POPULATION FUND
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
WORLD BANK GROUP
WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
WORLD ORGANISATION FOR ANIMAL HEALTH