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Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities (SFERA) - Annual Report (July 2013 - June 2014)

Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities (SFERA) - Annual Report (July 2013 - June 2014)
Jan 2015

The Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities (SFERA) enables the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to take rapid and effective action in response to food and agricultural threats and emergencies. The Fund has three components: (i) a working capital component to advance funds once a donor’s commitment is secured toward the immediate procurement of inputs to protect livelihoods, restart agricultural activities or contribute to an immediate response to a crisis; (ii) a revolving fund component to support FAO's involvement in needs assessment, programme development, early establishment and reinforcement of emergency country team capacities, as well as Level 3 emergency preparedness and response activities; and (iii) a programme component, which pools resources in support of a programme framework for large-scale emergencies.

From its inception through 30 June 2014, SFERA received USD 170.6 million, of which USD 75.2 million was allocated to large scale programmes (e.g. typhoons, hurricanes, Sahel, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza and locust plagues); USD 25.5 million was disbursed under the Agricultural Inputs Response Capacity (AIRC) window; USD 15.0 million was used to set-up or reinforce the Emergency and Rehabilitation Coordination Unit and implement needs assessment and programme formulation missions; and USD 3.2 million was allocated to establishing a Level 3 emergencies preparedness and response window. Since inception, USD 262.5 million has been advanced to fund immediate emergency needs, USD 37.7 million of which was advanced over the reporting period. Outstanding advances as at 30 June 2014 totalled USD 4.9 million, while the cash balance of SFERA at 30 June 2014 was USD 36.9 million.

SFERA is essential to FAO’s continued ability to provide rapid, high-impact emergency assistance to the most vulnerable populations affected by disaster. Moreover, access to SFERA funding enables FAO to successfully deliver its new Strategic Objective, "Increase the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crisis", which aims to improve the capacities of highly vulnerable populations to withstand and adapt to shocks. SFERA also plays a critical role in coordinating a collaborative, longer term response focusing on people's livelihood and resilience strategies, as well as improving the capacity of their local institutions' to prevent, protect and restore.