COVID-19 fallout: How NGOs can navigate project funding impacts

10 Jul, 2020

COVID-19 has brought about unforeseen market volatility to currency markets, both major and exotic. These effects have been as swift as they have been severe, but their lasting effects will be seen for years to come.
Given this situation, ACFID is partnering with StoneX Global Payments (formerly INTL FCStone) for an upcoming webinar to delve into this issue. This event will guide members through this uncertain period, helping to understand what impacts this pandemic has had on their international project funding - not just now, but into the future.    
Delving into how we have reached this disruption, StoneX’s Asia Head of Global Payments, Thiago Vieira, tells ACFID: 
“As the pandemic spread across the Asia in early 2020 and nations moved to lock down their residents, so too their financial systems ability to efficiently clear payments. Given that in many cases exotic markets still depend heavily on manual processing to send, receive and reconcile payments, the reduction in operating hours meant we saw countries such as Nepal and Philippines reduce or even bring to a halt their operating hours, resulting in delayed payment delivery times.” 
For many NGOs working in these regions, this has meant that their payments are unable to get where they are needed most, at a time when the need is more critical than ever. Thiago continues: 
“As the pandemic spread further across the globe we observed more nations go into lockdown and reduce their trading hours, however oddly their ability to process payments efficiently continued in most places, this we found was because banks treasury functions were quite often the last departments to cease operations. Most markets today continue to operate efficiently granted the impacts on currency markets has been more dramatic.” 
The value of the Australian dollar took a dramatic fall when the pandemic hit global markets -  mostly due to the strong ties to China and the initial impact there. For many charities, this has meant that funding projects overseas saw a far lower impact for donor funds. Timothy Peng, StoneX’s Asia Head of Trading, describes this different landscape: 
“Amazingly by June, we have seen a return to the December highs showing the resiliency and volatility that exists in major currency markets, while other emerging market currencies have been a mixed bag over these six months.”
ACFID recently took a deeper look into these issues with industry experts Thiago, Timothy, plus StoneX’s Head of Business Development (Global Payments) Australia and New Zealand, Michael Stachowiak, with a learning webinar. You can view a recording of the session on ACFID's YouTube channel
StoneX (formerly INTL FCStone) is a financial corporate partner of ACFID. 
Header photo
Government official in Laos. Photo: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 
About StoneX
Our Global Payments business unit sits within the heart of StoneX Group’s ability to provide clients with access to and payments capabilities in 175 foreign currency markets. We’ve made the change because we believe that “StoneX” communicates more accurately our core value proposition of connecting our clients to the global financial markets through an institutional-grade experience across our digital platforms, clearing and execution services, and high-touch expertise. Beyond our new name, we’re still the same company, with the same commitment to meeting the needs of ACFID’s members. 
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