UN announces measures for financial crisis

Amman, The United Nations announced a series of measures to face the organization’s worst budget crunch in a decade.

“We really have no choice,” said Catherine Pollard, a top official in the UN’s management department. “The main priority now is ensuring the next paycheck for the UN’s 37,000 employees.”

According to the French Press Agency (AFP), Secretary General Antonio Guterres, in a letter to staff, laid out the looming cutbacks he said would mean fewer flights and receptions, limits on hiring, fewer documents, reports and translations and even an end to water coolers.

Guterres called the crunch the “worst cash crisis facing the United Nations in nearly a decade,” the AFP reported.

He warned the organization “runs the risk of depleting its liquidity reserves by the end of the month and defaulting on payments to staff.”

The UN announced a $1.4 billion shortfall on its operating budget this year, blaming the funding gap on around 60 states that had been late paying their dues.

Of those, just seven countries made up 90 percent of the deficit: the United States, whose outstanding payments top a billion dollars, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Iran, Israel and Venezuela.

Contributions to cover peacekeeping operations have also suffered from tardy payment. In 2019, France for example owes another $103 million.

The UN budgetary rules do not include any penalty or interest on late payments.

Source: Jordan News Agency