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 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;
(ii) 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 (iii) a programme component, which pools resources in support of a programme framework for large-scale emergencies or strategically complements ongoing programmes through the Agricultural Inputs Response Capacity (AIRC) window, as well as early actions triggered by corporate early warnings.
From its inception through 31 December 2018, SFERA received USD 230.4 million, of which USD 102.5 million were allocated to large-scale programmes (e.g. sudden onset disasters, the Sahel, Horn of Africa, El Niño response, highly pathogenic avian influenza, locust outbreaks, Fall army worm and protracted crises); USD 51.2 million were disbursed under the AIRC window; USD 27.8 million were used to set up or reinforce country office emergency response capacities and support needs assessments and programme formulation; USD 9.2 million were allocated to the Level 3 emergencies preparedness and response window; and USD 5.2 million were contributed to the early action window.
Since SFERA’s inception, USD 390.9 million have been advanced to fund immediate emergency projects, of which USD 36.1 million were advanced over the reporting period. Outstanding advances as at 31 December 2018 amounted to USD 7.6 million, while SFERA’s cash balance as at 31 December 2018 was USD 26.9 million.