by Robert van der Zee, Treasurer & Deputy Director of Finance, UN World Food Programme
Improving cash and treasury management processes is not simply a tactical means of reducing costs or demonstrating best practices in an academic sense. Instead, as Robert van der Zee outlines in this article, for an organisation like the World Food Programme, optimising cash and treasury management is having a direct impact on its ability to deliver food assistance and reduce hunger in crisis-struck communities around the globe.
Key facts: WFP Treasury
- 9 treasury professionals
- Nearly 400 bank accounts across 88 banks in 93 countries
- USD 2.1bn in investments (2015)
- USD 0.6bn in FX transactions each year, from hard currencies to 32 local currencies
WFP Treasury Organisation
WFP has a small, centralised treasury organisation of eight people including myself based at our headquarters in Rome, Italy. I act as both treasurer and deputy director of finance. As a small team, with enormous responsibilities to beneficiaries and donors, it is essential that we optimise our use of head office resources, and minimise the amount of time spent by field offices on administration. Consequently, over the past four years we have embarked on a process of review and optimisation of our treasury processes and infrastructure to ensure the flow of transactions and information is as efficient, transparent and cost effective as possible.