Resource Mobilization

FAO uses unearmarked funding strategically

Multiple and substantial results for FAO unearmarked fund in 2015. Several projects with strong potential for scale-up.

10/11/2016 - 

Significant results were achieved by projects supported by the FAO Multipartner Programme Support Mechanism (FMM) in 2015, as outlined by the FMM 2015 Annual Report now available.

The FMM is a funding mechanism for partners willing to contribute unearmarked funds or slightly earmarked funds. Created in 2010, the FMM is currently supported by the Kingdoms of Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden. 

The FMM has been conceived as a tool to support FAO’s Strategic Framework. 

“The FMM is unique as it gives FAO the freedom to allocate funds where the Organization believes they are most needed and effective to achieve FAO’s Strategic Objectives approved by our membership,” says Alexander Jones, Director at interim, South-South and Resource Mobilization Division.  

In 2015, FMM funds were crucial to advance FAO’s work in areas such as hunger eradication, poverty reduction, climate change and sustainability in production, areas all at the heart of FAO’s Strategic Framework and the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. 

Numerous results were achieved under the 19 projects implemented in 39 countries. They supported the first four FAO Strategic Objectives (SOs) and contributed to FAO’s delivery of its Programme of Work and Budget for 2014-2015. 

Concrete contribution to FAO’s Strategic Objectives

For example, FAO  made substantial progress in the development of the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES), a global standard for measuring the severity of food insecurity. Monitoring food insecurity timely and consistently is crucial to assess food security programmes and progress in eradicating hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition (SO1). 

Several projects supported a more productive and sustainable agriculture (SO2). For example, in the Dry Corridor of Guatemala and Honduras, about 900 farmers tested new agroforestry practices which proved to increase productivity and improve soil and water conservation. These practices can be replicated in similar agronomic settings. 

The FMM contribution has provided critical support to FAO’s work on rural poverty reduction (SO3). Examples of concrete results are the drafting of a National Rural Youth Employment Policy in Senegal and the adoption of a national contract farming strategy in Malawi.  

In the Cook Islands and Samoa, two Small Island and Developing States, the FMM helped strengthen the local capacity to mobilize investments, and invest in agribusiness, contributing to more inclusive and efficient agrifood systems (SO4). 

Testing innovative practices

All these results have in common that they help advance towards the achievement of FAO’s Strategic Objectives. But not only. 

“The FMM is crucial as it allows FAO to implement innovative programmes that have strong potential for being scaled up,” explains Alexander Jones. 

For example, the integration of different agricultural practices was successfully tested in Burundi and can be now replicated in similar agronomic settings. Small fish and livestock production were integrated – livestock manure fertilizes the ponds improving the fish production and reducing the need for inputs – and in parallel, the cultivation of perennial  forage grasses for goats prevents soil erosion. This integration enhanced production and led to a more efficient use of resources.

FMM a catalyst for wider project

The FMM has also a strong catalytic dimension. “Small, innovative and successful projects generate interest and new funding for larger projects,” explains Alexander Jones. 

For example, in Ethiopia, 600 households learned to fatten small ruminants and run a fattening business. The project’s lessons-learned showed the important employment potential along small ruminant value chains and are now the basis for a wider project in Burkina Faso and Ethiopia with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Promoting new areas of work

The FMM also helps explore new areas.

“The FMM has always been essential to get our work grounded in areas which have become key components of FAO’s work,” says Ewald Rametsteiner, Member of FAO Strategic Programme Team for SO2. 

Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) is one of these areas. The FMM provided the initial support to the development, testing, implementation and dissemination of CSA. Today CSA is widely applied in countries and the FMM continues to support the generation of new knowledge and practices to tackle climate change. 

In 2015, for example, innovative research was conducted in Zambia to provide a better understanding of climate change impacts on agriculture, options for crop-livestock systems and the possibility to increase livestock productivity, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

Further results in 2016 and 2017

Substantial results were achieved in 2015, and FMM projects are expected to continue to deliver inspiring results in the next years in support of the current Programme of Work and Budget (2016-17) and Medium-Term Plan (2014-2017).


For a copy of the report, please contact [email protected]


FAO’s 5 Strategic Objectives

SO 1- Eradicate Hunger and Malnutrition

SO 2 - Enable Sustainable Food and Agriculture

SO 3 - Reduce Rural Poverty

SO 4 - Enable More Inclusive and Efficient Agrifood Systems

SO 5 - Increase the Resilience of Livelihoods to Threats and Crises


Related links

Voices of the Hungry 


Sustainable Food and Agriculture 

Resource Use Efficiency  

Climate Change     

Climate-Smart Agriculture

Blue Growth Initiative 



Decent Rural Employment   

Save Food