The United Nations is facing a “severe shortage of cash”, and may not be able to continue carrying out its work – because some member states aren’t paying their bills.

UN chief António Guterres warned the organisation was facing the worst cash crisis in nearly a decade, and runs the risk of not being able to pay staff and suppliers.

Of the permanent members of the UN security council, only the USA has failed to pay.

US President Donald Trump has often complained about the amount the US contributes towards the UN budget, with the country recently paying around 22% of the operating budget, and 28% of the peacekeeping budget.

A UN spokesperson said 129 of the 193 states have now paid their annual fees, but the rest need to pay “urgently and in full”.

“This is the only way to avoid a default that could risk disrupting operations globally,” she said.

“The Secretary-General further asked governments to address the underlying reasons for the crisis and agree on measures to put the United Nations on a sound financial footing.”

A statement from the secretary-general said major disruptions had been averted thus far, but warned this “annual crisis” can now only be solved if more money comes in.

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