Resource Mobilization

New USD 31 million contribution agreement between FAO and Sweden to transform lives for rural communities and boost sustainable development

Youth with their freshly harvested fish in Giunea-Bissau.

19/12/2018 - 

On 12 December 2018, Sweden, through the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), agreed to support FAO projects and programmes over the next four years with SEK 280 million (USD 31 million*). This contribution will bolster the FAO Medium Term Plan 2018-21 and related programme of work and budget, as well as specific programmes designed to enhance the livelihoods of rural women, youth and small-scale fishing communities, and promote the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.

Sweden committed SEK 148 million to the revitalized phase of FAO’s Flexible Multi-partner Mechanism** (FMM), a pooled mechanism established in 2010 as vehicle for partners willing to strengthen FAO’s work through flexible funding. This commitment will translate into transformative impacts in the FMM programmatic priority areas - priorities that were identified by Sweden and FAO together with other key resource partners and are fundamental to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Sweden’s new contribution will advance efforts on SDG monitoring, gender equality and women’s empowerment, sustainable productivity growth in agriculture, the Voluntary Guidelines on the responsible governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests in the context of national food security (VGGT), and the positive effect of migration, among others. 

SEK 80 million are foreseen for a global project promoting and facilitating the application of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines). The Guidelines aim at addressing the multidimensional factors that keep small-scale fishing communities trapped in food insecurity and poverty. Working with global, regional and national institutions responsible for fisheries governance, small-scale fishers and their supporting organizations, as well as research partners, the Sida-supported project will create an enabling environment for secure and sustainable small-scale fisheries, and provide fisherfolk organizations and fishing communities with the knowledge, capacity and tools to enhance their livelihoods.

SEK 48 million will support a project addressing widespread unemployment and underemployment in Guatemala, Senegal, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda, which are often the cause of rural poverty, food insecurity, and distress migration among young rural women and men. Collaborating with a wide range of local stakeholders, FAO endeavours to catalyse an integrated response to the rural youth employment challenge and optimize the job creation potential of the agri-food system, improving young people’s access to productive resources, pursuing strategies that make agriculture more productive and “green”, and helping small-scale producers shift to higher value-added activities. The programme will also strengthen FAO policy work in the area of decent rural employment and rural youth.

Finally, SEK 4 million will help carry forward FAO’s work in the frame of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA). The International Plant Treaty facilitates the conservation, sustainable use and continued open exchange of food crops and their genetic materials among countries. Its aim is to ensure that farmers and researchers across the globe continue to have access to the world’s most important crops and can help preserve biodiversity and utilize the valuable genetic traits found therein to strengthen food production. This includes making production systems more resilient to a changing climate.

FAO + Sweden: A Strategic Partnership

Sweden is one of FAO’s longstanding and key partners, working closely with the Organization to improve the lives of people around the world through inclusive and transformative solutions. During 2016-17, Sweden contributed to FAO’s work with a total of SEK 432 million (USD 48 million), supporting more than 38 ongoing projects that advanced a food secure, prosperous and sustainable future. 

Notably, the country is one of the pioneers and advocates of unearmarked, flexible funding through mechanisms like the FMM. Its support to FMM has boosted the Organization’s capacity to pioneer more impactful, cost-effective and collaborative ways of working. 

Between 2014 and 2017, Sweden, along with other resource partners, provided around USD 47 million in flexible funds to the FMM, facilitating FAO’s efforts in areas such as gender equality and women’s empowerment, rural youth employment and social protection. This support also permitted the production of flagship knowledge products that have touched lives around the globe, including publications on climate-smart and sustainable agriculture, food-security monitoring, forest and land restoration, Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), agribusiness, value chains and trade, the VGGT, the voice of the hungry, and the Blue Growth Initiative. 

The catalytic effects of such investments as “seed money” for leveraging larger development initiatives and further resources are remarkable. Sweden’s renewed commitment to the FMM will allow FAO and its partners to continue building on these development impacts.



* As per exchange rate of 18 December 2018

** Previously Multi-partner Programme Support Mechanism (FMM)