Donors Cut NEC Budget Deficit to $1.5 Million

The National Election Commit­tee budget deficit has decreased substantially thanks to gifts from international donors. But a funding gap of almost $1.5 million still exists, officials said Thursday.

A total of $4.1 million in international donations has been re­ceived by the NEC since it ap­pealed to the international community June 26 for additional funding, NEC Information Officer Leng Sochea said Thursday.

Three weeks ago, the shortfall was $5.6 million, he added.

The $4.1 million breaks down into $1.5 million from the UN Development Program, $1.5 million from the Danish government, $1 million from an unspecified NGO, $50,000 from South Korea and $50,000 from China, Leng Sochea said.

The NEC had warned that the shortfall would hamper its ability to hold a free and fair election. It needs the $5.6 million to cover staffing costs that will be incurred if 70,000 temporary workers are added to the NEC payroll over election weekend, as planned.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan gave his weight to the appeal for funding.

The UNDP feared that $3 million in additional donations was the most that could be hoped for.

“But we are still missing $1,469,319,” said Leng Sochea, reading from a notebook.

The NEC election budget is likely to total nearly $27 million, he said. Most of that is being met by the international community.


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