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United Nations may not have enough money to pay its staff next month

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Guterres Antonio, United Nations secretary has warned that the UN may not have enough money to pay for staff salaries in the coming month if member states do not pay up what they owe.

Guterres said to make sure the General Assembly was held last month, several cut-backs on expenditures were made.

“This month, we will reach the deepest deficit of the decade. We risk … entering November without enough cash to cover payrolls,” said Guterres. “Our work and our reforms are at risk.”

The United States is the largest contributor – responsible for 22 per cent of the $2.85 billion regular budget for 2019, which pays for work including political, humanitarian, disarmament, economic and social affairs and communications.

Washington owes some $381 million for prior regular budgets and $674 million for the 2019 regular budget.

“The United States will be providing the vast majority of what we owe to the regular budget this fall, as we have in past years.”

“Overall the United States, as the largest contributor to the U.N., contributes roughly $10 billion annually in assessed and voluntary contributions across the United Nations system,” a US official from the U.S. mission said

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Previously, Donald Trump, President of the United States has said Washington is shouldering an unfair burden of the cost of the United Nations and has pushed for reforms of the world body.

The US is responsible for nearly 28 per cent of the peacekeeping budget. However, Washington currently owes some $2.4 billion for peacekeeping.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said 129 countries had paid their dues for 2019 so far, which amounted to almost $2 billion.

The top contributing countries are Ethiopia, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Rwanda. They pay their troops according to their national salary scales and are reimbursed by the United Nations. As of July 2019, the United Nations paid $1,428 a month per soldier.

With the new financial set back the organisation might experience, Guterres said only essential travel is allowed, and some meetings may have to be cancelled or deferred.

U.N. operations in New York, Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi and at regional commissions will be affected.

U.N. peacekeeping missions are funded by a separate budget, which was $6.7 billion for  2019, and $6.51 billion for 2020 fiscal year which ended in June 30.

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