The UN budget for peacekeeping operations will remain at $6.5 billion under an agreement reached overnight among the UN's 193 member states, diplomats said Tuesday.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, which entails increased costs for medical and protective gear but also lower spending on travel and troop rotations, it was decided to allow for flexibility in the budget blueprints for the UN's 15-odd peacekeeping operations to allow them to adapt to the global health crisis, one diplomat said on condition of anonymity.
The budget for these operations runs from July 1 to June 30.
The UN budget office recommended allotting 33 million dollars less than what UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres requested for the peacekeeping operations, and member states reduced this further by 77 million dollars, diplomats said.
The most expensive UN peacekeeping operations are those under way in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, and the Central African Republic. Each costs around a billion dollars a year.
The peacekeeping budget is separate from the UN's three billion dollar operating budget which runs from January to December.
A Japanese soldier prepares for the arrival of more UN peacekeepers in Juba in South Sudan in 2016