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Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities (SFERA) Annual report 2021

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Executive summary

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.

SFERA has three components:

  • a working capital component to advance funds once a resource partner’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;

  • a revolving fund component to support FAO’s involvement in needs assessment and programme development, early establishment and reinforcement of emergency country team capacities, Level 3 emergency1 preparedness and response activities; and

  • a programme component, which pools resources in support of a programme framework for large-scale emergencies or strategically complements ongoing programmes, including the Agricultural Inputs Response Capacity (AIRC) window as well as the Anticipatory Action (AA) window triggered by corporate early warnings.
    From its inception in 2004 through 31 December 2021, SFERA received USD 335 million.

Under the programme component:

  • USD 154.4 million were allocated to large-scale programmes (e.g. locust response, sudden onset disasters,
    El Niño response, highly pathogenic avian influenza, protracted crises, and COVID-19);

  • USD 68 million were disbursed under the AIRC window; and

  • USD 18.1 million under the AA window.
    Under the revolving fund component:

  • USD 37.2 million were used to set up or reinforce country office emergency response capacities and support needs assessments and programme formulation; and

  • USD 15.8 million were allocated to the Level 3 emergencies preparedness and response window.

Since SFERA’s inception, under its working capital component, USD 494.8 million have been advanced to fund immediate emergency projects, of which USD 22.7 million were advanced over the reporting period. Outstanding advances as at 31 December 2021 amounted to USD 7.3 million.