The United Nations is running a deficit of $230 million, Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned on Monday, and may run out of money by the end of October unless world governments immediately meet their financial obligations. U.S. taxpayers would most likely be hardest hit by any immediate cash injection into the global organization.
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 currently cost $8 billion annually.
The next two major contributors are Germany and the U.K.
In a letter intended for the 37,000 employees at the U.N. secretariat and obtained by AFP, Guterres said unspecified, “additional stop-gap measures” would have to be taken to ensure salaries and entitilements are met.
These might include holding less meetings and cutting back on travel and associated entitlements.
“Member States have paid only 70 per cent of the total amount needed for our regular budget operations in 2019. This translates into a cash shortage of $230 million at the end of September. We run the risk of depleting our backup liquidity reserves by the end of the month,” he wrote.
"Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces."