The United Nations is facing a liquidity crisis that is worse than any that it has ever confronted in at least a decade.

Secretary-General António Guterres has written a letter to all member states in which he points to a deficit of more than $230 million in 2019.

He says contributions at the end of the third quarter dropped to 70%, down from 78% last year.

Guterres has made an urgent plea to member countries to pay their outstanding contributions to minimise disruptions to UN operations.

His spokesperson Stephane Dujarric says the organisation runs the risk of depleting its liquidity reserves by the end of the month.

“The organisation runs the risk of depleting its liquidity reserves by the end of the month and defaulting on payments to staff and vendors. Stressing the obligations of member states, the Secretary-General thanked the member states who have paid the regular budget assessment in full and urged those who have not paid to do so urgently and in full. This is the only way to avoid a default that could risk disrupting our operations globally.

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