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Hello, this is Michelle. The UN has been facing its worst liquidity crunch in recent history. While the financial woes may not be new, some worry it is a symptom of something much worse. We delve into the complexities of an organisation at the mercy of the whims of its members and their erratic political climates.

The Human Rights Council’s hectic session is over but a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza continues to unfold. The recent killing of foreign aid workers may have forced Israel to loosen its chokehold on aid – and many in Geneva and beyond will be following how that materialises on the ground.

photo journaliste

Michelle Langrand


On our radar

Photo article

UN European headquarters in Geneva, 25 March 2024. (Geneva Solutions/Michelle Langrand)

Behind the UN liquidity crunch, a multilateral system in crisis? After months of gridlock, the United States Congress finally approved on 23 March a spending package for 2024, including what it owes to the United Nations and other international organisations such as the World Health Organization and the World Trade Organization. Compared to the US’s massive $1.2 trillion budget, the UN’s share of $3 billion, including for peacekeeping operations, appears minimal. Yet its absence – along with that of other key states – has been enough to kneecap the organisation for months.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

What to watch this week

⛑️Waiting for aid. Following Friday’s announcement by Israel that it will temporarily open humanitarian routes into northern Gaza, aid organisations will be watching closely to see how long it will take for the trucks to deliver much-needed assistance. Tens of thousands of people in the northern part of the strip largely cut off from the rest of Gaza are said to be suffering from famine and surviving on 245 calories a day, according to Oxfam.

📋Roadblocks. Till now, Israel has claimed that access through the Erez crossing was unviable due to damage following the 7 October attacks. Delivery of aid to the occupied territory, which has mostly come through the southern Rafah crossing, has been much reduced since the start of the latest upsurge in violence. All aid deliveries have to undergo strict inspections and approval from Israeli and Egyptian authorities before being given the go-ahead.

As we reported recently from Dubai, the World Food Programme-run aid distribution hub has been abuzz in recent months responding to the crisis.

🛑Accountability no-go. Meanwhile, the UN Human Rights Office says it continues to “engage” with Israel to try to get full access to occupied territories to investigate rights violations. In the wake of the deadly attack by Israeli military on aid workers employed by World Central Kitchen, a spokesperson told journalists Friday that while it has had limited access to Gaza, its staff in the region are doing its best to report remotely on the situation. “In order to do our work thoroughly we need access,” he said.

Also on the agenda

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