Flexible Voluntary Contribution (FVC)

Annual Strategic Dialogue of FAO’s Flexible Multi-partner Mechanism discusses 2022-2025 phase. Interest in FMM is growing, with New Zealand and Australia the latest Members to join


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Resource Partners held strategic discussions last Friday on the next phase of the Flexible Multi-partner Mechanism (FMM), FAO’s main pooled programmatic funding instrument for development work that allows the Organization to quickly direct flexible resources where and when it’s most needed.

The FMM allows resource partners to provide flexible funds to support programmes aimed at eliminating hunger, ensuring nutrition, addressing climate change, biodiversity loss and transforming lives and livelihoods, and achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Over the years, through the generous support of FMM Resource Partners providing flexible, less-earmarked support, the FMM has become a successful corporate model of flexible funding for the achievement of tangible results and transformative impacts.

The Fund has nearly quintupled in magnitude since its inception in 2010 and has improved the lives and livelihoods of people in over 70 countries across five regions.  From its inception in 2010, FMM has received more than USD 135 million in flexible voluntary contributions, of which nearly half—over USD 66 million, was received for the 2018-2021 phase, and at least USD 20 million in 2020.

The critical importance of its flexibility was evidenced during the COVID-19 pandemic, when resources could be quickly allocated to the priorities in the field, to fund critical areas of work such as food security, sustainable production, gender and women employment, nutrition, school feeding and social protection, and food systems work. Funding for the 2022-2025 phase is expected to reach USD 100 million.

FMM’s Resource Partners include Australia, Belgium, Flanders, France, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. New Zealand and Australia are the latest Resource Partners to have joined the FMM.

The Strategic Dialogue was opened by the FAO Director-General, Mr QU Dongyu, who commended the progress of the FMM and highlighted its successful growth. He said, “The increasing number of Resource Partners base of the FMM is an evidence of its growth as a dynamic and effective funding mechanism that can deliver tangible results.” During the Strategic Dialogue, Ms Beth Bechdol, FAO Deputy Director-General, corroborated the Director General’s message and expressed her appreciation for the generosity of FMM Resource Partners, and the work that has been accomplished over the past decade. According to Me Bechdol, “Mechanisms such as the FMM are of strategic importance to tackle today’s complex challenges and to support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.”

H.E. Ms Céline Jurgensen, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of France to FAO, pointed to the collective and multifaceted aspect of the FMM as food security is deteriorating in the world. France’s Ambassador said, “In this context, it is crucial that we collectively work to ensuring access to healthy and safe food for all, while at the same time taking up the challenge of climate change, the erosion of biodiversity and ensuring farmers have a decent life so reducing inequalities.”

H.E. Mr Marcel Beukeboom, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to FAO, ensured that his country has “a strong commitment to combat climate change, both in terms of mitigation and in adaptation, including the international context in which this takes place.” He informed that a new government is now in place in the Netherlands.

In her opening statement, Ms True Schedvin, Head of Global Economy Unit, Sida, acknowledged the role that the FMM plays in linking local knowledge with global policy framework: “FAO’s operational activities in combination with its normative role is an opportunity to learn from country level activities. We can share lessons with all interested partners, from farmers to policy makers. This characterizes the FMM Programmes.”

Also, Ms Nathalie Cassiers, Deputy Permanent Representative of Belgium to FAO, reiterated that flexible funding remains the cornerstone of Belgium’s international cooperation. She said, “Belgium particularly welcomes the results that the FMM contributed to achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment, as we are keen to promote an inclusive approach.”

Ms Anne Wetlesen, Senior Advisor, Norad, acknowledged the focus that FMM has on small scale farmers, agriculture and food production: “For Norway these topics are high on the political agenda, so we are looking forward to very interesting and inspiring years on these topics.” Norway looks forward to collaborating with FMM in the coming years.

Mr Tim Kraenzlein, Deputy Permanent Representative of Switzerland to FAO, highlighted that “the main advantage of the FMM is its flexibility and its capacity to quickly react to upcoming issues in the field of FAO’s ultimate goal in achieving the 2030 agenda”.

Ms Laurence De Wolf, Policy Advisor, Flanders, expressed her appreciation for the continuous dialogue between FMM management and the FMM Resource Partners, which led to a positive transformation of the fund. Flanders is hopeful that they would like to see more and new partners joining, other than traditional ones, to see new ways of financing emerging priorities.

About the FMM

The FMM is FAO’s main flexible pooled funding instrument for receiving and managing flexible voluntary funds to strengthen FAO’s Strategic Framework, by leveraging the effects of initiatives to achieve value for money and transformative impacts. Since its creation about 12 years ago, the Mechanism has directly benefitted hundreds of thousands of people in rural communities - especially women, youth, and children - while also creating impact through global knowledge products.

FMM’s Resource Partners now include Australia, Belgium, Flanders, France, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. The Mechanism is currently scaling up alliances and reaching out to new resource partners in order to achieve even greater impacts in line with the SDGs.

Earlier this month it held its first Digital Field Trip that has allowed FMM Resource Partners to virtually appreciate the impact of their investments in Niger, Kenya, Tanzania and Guyana.

1. No poverty

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