UN may run out of money by end of October: Guterres

UN may run out of money by end of October: Guterres

UN may run out of money by end of October: Guterres

The United Nations is running a deficit of $230 million, and may run out of money by the end of October, Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said.

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the secretary-general has written to all members saying "the organization runs the risk of depleting its liquidity reserves by the end of the month and defaulting on payments to staff and vendors".

"Unless more Governments pay their annual dues, our work and our reforms are at risk", UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric quoted him as telling the budget-setting Fifth Committee of the General Assembly.

USA taxpayers would most likely be hardest hit by any immediate cash injection into the global organization. According to Reuters, the US government still owes $381 million for prior budgets and $674 million for the 2019 regular budget.

"We are now driven to prioritise our work on the basis of the availability of cash, thus undermining the implementation of mandates decided by inter-governmental bodies, " Dujarric said.

The United States is by far the U.N.'s biggest financial contributor, providing 22 percent of its operating budget and funding 28 percent of peacekeeping missions, which now cost $8 billion annually.

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President Trump has been critical of the amount that the US pays to the United Nations.

Guterres said he introduced extraordinary measures last month to cope with the shortfall - vacant posts can not be filled, only essential travel is allowed, some meetings may have to be canceled or deferred. Guterres has been working to improve United Nations operations and cut costs.

A year ago it contributed about 22 percent of the UN's annual budget.

Washington now owes some $2.4bn for peacekeeping missions. They pay their troops according to their national salary scales and are reimbursed by the UN As of July 2019, the UN paid $1,428 a month per soldier.

The UN says its peacekeeping operations cost less than one-half of one percent of world military expenditures.

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