The U.S. Owes UNESCO Half A Billion Dollars
The U.S. has been expected to pay the bulk of UNESCO's budget for years and it cancelled its financial contributions back in 2011 in protest of Palestine's admission as a full member. In the years since, it has amassed significant arrears of over $500 million. This year, the UK, Japan and Brazil have all failed to pay their contributions so far, accrueing nearly $70 million of arrears between them.
This isn't the first time the U.S. has turned its back on UNESCO. The country also left the organization under Ronald Reagan in the 1980s before rejoining under George W. Bush in 2003. The latest withdrawal will come into effect at the very end of 2018.
This chart shows total unpaid contributions to UNESCO by country as of October 5, 2017.