United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Monday said that the world body is running a deficit of $230 million (Rs 1,630 crore) and may not be left with back-up reserves by the end of this month, AFP reported. Guterres told employees in a letter that the ultimate responsibility for the United Nations’ financial health lies with member states.

“Member states have paid only 70% of the total amount needed for our regular budget operations in 2019,” Guterres told 37,000 employees at the UN Secretariat. “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 said unspecified “additional stop-gap measures” were needed to ensure payments of salaries and entitlements. He suggested costs could be cut by postponing conferences and meetings, reducing services, and restricting official travel and energy use.

Earlier this year, Guterres had asked member states to contribute more to prevent the situation but they had refused, an unidentified UN official told AFP.

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