A report due to be published in the coming months is thought to be the next step toward funding being cut to a group UN agencies, including the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco). The move is said to be in part due to Unesco failing to reform wasteful practices.

According to the Sunday Times, "insiders" are expecting a number of UN agencies to lose almost all of their direct UK funding. The report is a review of almost £5bn ($7.1bn) of foreign aid, supplied by the Department for International Development every 2-3 years.

Officials familiar with the review told the Sunday Times that the UN agencies can expect UK funding to be cut by up to £180m. Civil servants have previously mentioned that the government wants the proportion of the current aid budget spent on multilateral agencies to drop from 42% to 38%.

Unesco is thought to be one of the agencies involved, it received £14m from the UK in 2014. The UK wants serious reforms at the agency where half of the £560m budget were shown in recent accounts to be going on salaries.

"Funding cuts are the only tool that make the leadership of international agencies pay attention," Beatrice Edwards, international project director at the Government Accountability Project, told the Sunday Times, "once there is at least a credible threat of cuts, things start to change."

Irina Bokova, current Unesco Director General, is thought to be one of the frontrunners to succeed UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon when he steps down at the end of the year. Bokova was born in Bulgaria and previously served as a minister in Bulgaria's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as Bulgaria's ambassador to France and Monaco.