Global Affairs Canada has recently released a Guidance on eligibility of COVID-19 potential costs     It provides that expenses such as repatriating Canadians from projects abroad are eligible project expenses, repatriated staff can continue to receive compensation in Canada, and local employees on the ground will also be able to have 30 days of salary after a project has been suspended.

 

We reproduce it below and it has a lot more information:

 

Guidance on eligibility of COVID-19 potential costs

Last update: March 27, 2020

Overall guidance

Global Affairs Canada recognizes the impacts of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the delivery of international development assistance projects.

The following detailed guidance is meant to ensure that there are no contractual or financial barriers to prevent you from getting Canadians home and following Government of Canada directions on mandatory self-isolation for returning Canadians.

The following table also provides flexibility and guidance on the eligibility of costs for other situations that could be encountered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This guidance applies only to contribution agreements and will be updated as the crisis unfolds.

Recipient organizations are encouraged to discuss context-specific situations with their respective Global Affairs Canada project management team. In addition, please work with your Global Affairs Canada counterparts to maintain a record of all decisions, changes to your project’s implementation and project costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Response to COVID-19 in Terms of Eligible Costs and Reporting Flexibilities for International Development Assistance Program
SituationRecommendation and explanation
Repatriation to home country of project employees, dependants, volunteers and students/internsEligible project expense
Transportation costs to and from the airport or place of quarantine or temporary self-isolation for project employees, dependants, volunteers and students/internsEligible project expense
Salary of repatriated employeesGAC will cover as an eligible project expense up to the equivalent of 30 working days of salary following repatriation. This measure applies beyond regular work performed toward direct project activities or project planning and realignment efforts to assess whether project activities can be maintained. This period will allow both the organization and GAC to discuss the future of the project and avoid rushing any decision, thereby ensuring the best approach is adopted.
Salary of local employeesGAC will cover as an eligible project expense up to the equivalent of 30 working days of salary following the suspension of project activities. This period will allow both the organization and GAC to discuss the future of the project and avoid rushing any decision, thereby ensuring the best approach is adopted.
Accommodation costs and meal and incidentals allowances in the city of repatriationEligible project expense. The provisions contained in Chapter 11 of the Technical Assistance Handbook should be applied for the organization’s employees/dependants, volunteers and students/interns on an exceptional basis (the exception being COVID-19 specific measure).
Relocation costs for project employees, dependants, volunteers and students/internsActual and reasonable relocation costs contained in chapter 4 of the Technical Assistance Handbook will be reimbursed.
Flight and/or project-related event cancellation costsEligible project expense if the organization made a non-refundable purchase; otherwise, a credit can be issued and used for future travel/event.
Local office costs, such as rent and utilities, when the recipient organization must suspend project activitiesEligible project expense until further notice
Deadlines for narrative reportsGAC is extending the reporting deadlines by 2 months unless other direction has been provided by the GAC project officer.
Deadlines for financial reportsThe same financial reporting provisions continue to apply (it follows the advance cycle). However, given the COVID-19 situation, a third advance can be issued regardless of the number of outstanding justified advances.
Flexibility to reallocate between budget lines to meet the necessary changing activities and prioritiesThis can be accommodated for all budget lines regardless of existing contribution agreement clauses to this effect. It is, however, subject to prior written approval by the GAC project officer. No contribution agreement amendment will be necessary if approval from a GAC official is duly documented.
Recipient organization unable to continue meeting its in-kind contribution commitments, such as volunteer workThe recipient organization should explore options with the project officer, depending on the nature of in-kind contributions, such as:

  • considering another type of eligible contribution of equivalent value, such as cash or e-volunteering
  • postponing the volunteer activities

As a last resort, the project officer may waive the cost-sharing requirement, as appropriate. No contribution agreement amendment will be necessary if the approval is duly documented.

Guidance for contracts for professional servicesGAC will follow advice and guidance provided by Public Services and Procurement Canada and apply a Government of Canada approach to managing contracts consistent with other departments and agencies, as well as internal GAC contracting teams.