UN may not have money to pay staff next month, says Guterres

The United Nations (UN) has said it may not have enough money for staff salaries in November if member states do not pay what they owe.

The warning was made by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during the 193-member UN General Assembly’s budget committee on Tuesday.

According to UN the areas in which employees might be affected are; New York, Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi without exempting regional commissions.

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

Guterres said he has been working hard since January until last month when he put in stringent measures to ensure the organisation does not run into deficit.

According to a report by UN’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, Washington owes some $381m (Ksh39.5 billion) for prior regular budgets and $674m (Ksh69.9 billion) for the 2019 regular budget.

The US mission to the UN confirmed the figures but without promising a date as to when payments will be done.

The US is responsible for nearly 28 percent of the peacekeeping budget but has pledged to pay only 25 percent – as required by US law.

Washington currently owes some $2.4bn (Ksh249 billion) for peacekeeping missions.

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 UN.

As of July 2019, the UN paid $1,428 a month to each soldier.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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