Japan Partnership Strengthens Afghan Democracy
USD 16.7 Million Assistance from Government of Japan for Provision of Ballot Papers, Other Election Materials
Kabul--Japan today extended a grant to the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) in support of free, fair, credible elections and a more responsive democracy, following the signing of a US$ 16.7 million agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), at the IEC headquarters in Kabul.
This support will include polling items such as ballot papers, indelible ink and polling station kits, and ground transportation of polling materials across the country as well as international freight cost for sourcing of the election materials. The grant complements the ongoing assistance of the Government of Japan in the area of IEC’s institutional capacity building.
“The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan welcomes the continuous committed support of the Government of Japan to the conduct of the Presidential and Provincial Council elections in 2014,” said the Chairman of the IEC Yusuf Nuristani, during the signing ceremony. “Japan’s contribution of US$ 16.7 million follows its earlier contribution of US$ 81.7 million to electoral assistance in Afghanistan during 2009 and 2010. The IEC is committed to holding credible and transparent Afghan-led elections. The Japanese support strongly contributes to this effort,” Mr. Nuristani added.
The Ambassador of Japan Hiroshi Takahashi said that since 2004 Japan has supported the electoral process in the country. Takahashi added: “These elections are central to the country’s political transition. Japan expects that this contribution will further the conduct of inclusive elections and will assist the IEC in its goal of fostering broader democratic participation and increasing public confidence.”
“This renewed partnership between Japan and Afghanistan reflects the firm commitment of the Government of Afghanistan and the International Community in enhancing democratic governance in Afghanistan”, said the UNDP Country Director Alvaro Rodriguez. “The Japanese support will contribute to further UNDP’s efforts in assisting the IEC towards electoral processes that are deemed robust and credible”, he added.
Wasima Muhammadi, Program Officer, Embassy of Japan in Afghanistan. Mobile: +93 (0) 796 341200
Sayeed Farhad Zalmai, Communications Unit, United Nations Development Programme Afghanistan. Mobile: +93 (0) 790509133