The United Nations is running a deficit of $230 million (€209 million) and could run out of money by the end of this month, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday.
In a letter addressed to the 37,000 employees at the UN secretariat and obtained by AFP news agency, Guterres said unspecified “additional stop-gap measures” would have to be taken to ensure salaries and entitlements are paid.
"Member states have paid only 70% 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.
Postponing conferences, reducing services and restricting travel to only the necessary may be needed to cut costs, Guterres said.
Guterres had reportedly already asked member states to up contributions to the world body to prevent cash flow problems, but they refused, a UN official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
"The ultimate responsibility for our financial health lies with member states," Guterres said.
Not including what it pays for peacekeeping operations, the UN's operating budget for 2018-2019 is close to €5 billion, with the United States contributing 22%.