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20 Frequently

Questions about
ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve

Enhancing the quick response
capacity of the ASEAN Plus Three
to disasters and other threats to food security

ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR)

2nd Floor, Office of Agricultural Economics
Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives
Kasetsart University Complex
Phaholyothin Road, Lat Yao, Chatuchak
Bangkok 10900, Thailand
Telephone +66 2 579-4816  579-4817  579-4826
Fax +66 2 579-4840

Supported by the Asian Development Bank, with

financing from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction
THE BASICS making decisions by consensus; and meeting regularly at least once a
year, including convening ad hoc meetings.

What is APTERR?
The ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) is a regional
cooperation scheme aimed at strengthening food security and reducing
17 Who provides resources for APTERR?
To enable APTERR to function, financial and other resources
poverty within the ASEAN Member States, the People’s Republic of China, (including stockpiled or earmarked rice as well as management
Japan, and the Republic of Korea. support) are sourced from cash and in-kind assistance provided by

member countries.
Why is there a need for APTERR? Other countries and donor organizations may provide donations for
APTERR directly addresses the immediate threats to food security in the stockpiled emergency rice reserves.
the ASEAN Plus Three:

„„ Disasters, both natural and artificial, threaten food supplies at the
Who stores the APTERR stocks?
local level, and if sufficiently severe, even at the national level.
The earmarking country stores the earmarked stocks. Based on
„„ Market volatility greatly amplifies the risks posed by calamities;
proven viability under the EAERR, the stockpiled rice is stored by a host
moreover, a severe price increase can itself trigger a food crisis,
country (a member of the ASEAN Plus Three), under contract with the
as experienced worldwide in 2008.
APTERR Secretariat. Currently, there is

no provision for an APTERR warehouse.
What is the legal basis for APTERR? For earmarked stocks, storage
APTERR was established under an agreement signed by the Ministers responsibility is a permanent
of Agriculture and Forestry of the 13 member countries of the ASEAN Plus commitment of the member country. For
Three on 7 October 2011 in Jakarta, Indonesia. stockpiled rice, the host country remains
responsible until the end of the storage

4 How was APTERR started?

The history of APTERR dates back to the ASEAN Food Security Reserve
(AFSR) Agreement of 1979. The agreement instituted the earmarked
contract. Beyond this, the APTERR
Secretariat is in charge of extending
storage or releasing the stockpiled rice. Basket of hope: APTERR builds on
rice reserve system, which was called the ASEAN Emergency Rice Reserve In any case, the agency storing the the proven viability of EAERR.
(AERR). The total stocks under the AERR were 87,000 tons. However, no APTERR stocks guarantees that quality standards are maintained.
releases were effectively made under the AERR until 2003.

In 2003, the ASEAN Plus
Three Ministers of Agriculture and
Who distributes the stocks released by APTERR to end-users?
The ASEAN Plus Three The stocks released by APTERR are distributed by the national food
Forestry undertook a pilot project
security agency of the member country affected by an emergency.
ASEAN member countries called the East Asia Emergency
Tier 1 and Tier 2 releases would likely be used to augment the
1. Brunei Darussalam Rice Reserve (EAERR). The EAERR
national food security reserves of the affected country.
2. Cambodia established both earmarked and
Tier 3 releases are directly distributed to needy households by the
3. Indonesia stockpiled emergency rice reserves.
public food aid agency in the affected country. Distribution may also
4. Lao People’s Democratic Republic In the case of ASEAN countries,
5. Myanmar be done in partnership with international organizations (e.g., the World
earmarked stocks were mobilized
6. Malaysia Food Programme) and nongovernmental organizations.
from the AERR. The Plus Three
7. Philippines countries each made a new

2 8. Singapore What is the current status of APTERR? 7
commitment for earmarking rice
9. Thailand Following its signing in October 2011, the APTERR Agreement
10. Viet Nam
reserves. Funding for the EAERR
was provided by Japan through the is awaiting entry into force. Preparations are under way among the
Plus Three countries Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction member countries to immediately commence the operations of APTERR
11. People’s Republic of China while in-kind support was extended once the agreement comes into force. This is to ensure the earliest
12. Japan possible protection against food emergencies that can affect the region
by Thailand, in cooperation with
13. Republic of Korea at any time.
other ASEAN Plus Three countries.
Importance of emergency rice reserves: Providing relief for a region most prone to natural disasters.

rice reserves beyond what is already arranged under Tier 1. Delivery

follows an on-the-spot agreement between a supplying country and a
recipient country. Pricing is similar to Tier 1: payment can be made in cash
or through long-term loan or grant, based on mutual agreement of the ADB / Forte
Going the distance: Schoolchildren in the Philippines
countries involved. braving flood waters to get back home (above); Thailand’s
rice donations coursed through the EAERR for Typhoon

Ketsana victims in the Philippines in 2009 (left).
How does Tier 3 work?
The release of rice reserves under Tier 3 is a donation of rice as
humanitarian assistance to a recipient country affected by calamity upon
their request in response to acute emergency. In special cases, rice The pilot project ended in 2010. By
distribution can be fast-tracked under automatic trigger. Moreover, rice then, the EAERR had distributed nearly
stocks may be also released for poverty alleviation and malnourishment 3,000 tons of stockpiled rice to disaster
eradication programs to address other humanitarian purposes. victims and poor households in Cambodia,
Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and the

15 Are there any limits to the amount of rice released by APTERR? Philippines. The EAERR also released
Releases from APTERR are authorized only in the event of an 10,000 tons of earmarked stocks from
emergency. Tier 1 releases are limited by the quantity of stocks stated Viet Nam to support the recovery of the
in the forward contract. Furthermore, the total releases by any APTERR Philippines from a devastating typhoon
member country over each 12-month cycle under Tier 1 and Tier 2 may in 2010.
not exceed its respective earmarked stock commitment. However, a Based on the experience of the pilot project, the ASEAN Plus Three
member country must replenish its earmarked reserves back to its original countries decided to establish the emergency rice reserve scheme as a
commitment on an annual basis. Tier 2 and Tier 3 releases are limited by permanent mechanism.
the estimate of rice needed to address the emergency.

5 What are the rice reserves under APTERR?
There are two types of rice reserves provided under APTERR:
„„ Earmarked emergency rice reserves
„„ Stockpiled emergency rice reserves

6 16 Who manages APTERR?

Day-to-day management of APTERR operations is undertaken by the
APTERR Secretariat, which is under the supervision of the APTERR Council.
Rice reserved under APTERR must be fit for human consumption
based on international food safety standards. 3

The Secretariat is based in a host country selected by the Council and is

headed by a General Manager appointed by the Council.
The Council is composed of one representative from the government of
6 What are earmarked emergency rice reserves?
Earmarked emergency rice reserves are specific quantities of milled
rice which remain owned and/or controlled by the government of the
each APTERR member country. The responsibilities of the Council include earmarking country for the purpose of meeting emergency requirements
deciding on the approval of releases from APTERR stocks by consensus; of one or more APTERR member countries.
7 What is the quantity of earmarked stocks under APTERR?
The earmarked stocks total 787,000 tons, consisting of 87,000 tons
from the ASEAN member countries and 700,000 tons from the Plus Three
11 How do releases from APTERR address these emergencies?
Corresponding to specific distinctions of emergencies are three
APTERR programs:
countries. The breakdown by country is as follows: „„ Tier 1 involves the release of earmarked stocks under a pre-
arranged scheme to address problems of food availability. This
Breakdown of APTERR Earmarked Rice Stocks (Ton) program is designed for anticipated emergencies.
ASEAN PLUS THREE „„ Tier 2 involves the release of earmarked stocks for emergencies
Brunei Darussalam 3,000 Myanmar 14,000 People’s Republic of China 300,000 not addressed by Tier 1. This program is designed for
Cambodia 3,000 Philippines 12,000 Republic of Korea 250,000 unanticipated emergencies.
Indonesia 12,000 Singapore 5,000 Japan 150,000 „„ Tier 3 involves the release of stockpiled emergency rice reserves
Lao PDR 3,000 Thailand 15,000 to address problems of food accessibility. This program is
Malaysia 6,000 Viet Nam 14,000
designed for acute emergencies and for other humanitarian
responses to food insecurity.

8 What are stockpiled emergency rice reserves?

Stockpiled emergency rice reserves are rice voluntarily donated to
APTERR in the form of cash (termed stockpiled cash) and/or physical rice 12 How does Tier 1 work?
The pre-arranged release of rice reserves under Tier 1 is formalized
as a forward contract, stating the specific quantity and grade of rice,
stocks (termed stockpiled rice)
pricing method, terms of payment and delivery, and other requirements
which are owned collectively by
between a supplying country and a recipient country. Delivery of rice
the APTERR member countries
from the supplying country will be made in the event of an emergency in
and managed by the APTERR
the recipient country, with payment based on the prevailing international
Secretariat under the supervision
market price. The amount of rice under a forward contract is based
of the APTERR Council.
on an estimate of rice shortfall in the event of an emergency over the

medium term.
What situations qualify for a

release from APTERR? How does Tier 2 work?
APTERR releases are made in The release of rice reserves under Tier 2 is made available to an
cases of emergency. An emergency APTERR member country to meet an emergency requirement of rice
is defined as “the state or condition under other arrangements. This program provides for the release of
in which an APTERR member
country, due to extreme and Rapid response: Rice stacked in a Philippine APTERR

unexpected calamity, is unable to warehouse for distribution to victims of a APTERR’s Three Tier Programs
cope with the state or condition volcano eruption in Iloilo province in 2006,
funded by Japan through the EAERR.
through its national reserve and is
Anticipated Emergency
unable to procure the needed supply of rice through normal trade.” TIER 1 Forward Contract

Unanticipated Emergency

TIER 2 Other Arrangements


10 What kinds of emergencies will APTERR address?
APTERR will address rice shortfalls due to the following conditions:
„„ Emergencies that threaten food availability at the national level.

Humanitarian Aid
for Acute Emergency

Quick Response
Humanitarian Aid

„„ Acute emergencies that threaten accessibility of food for affected TIER 3 Trigger for Acute Emergency
households. Such emergencies may be localized, wherein a subset of STOCKPILED
the population may require humanitarian food assistance, whether Alleviation
Other Humanitarian
or not sufficient rice stocks are available at the national level.