Donors Pay $1.55 Million Tab for Registration

The voter registration process for the July national elections cost $1.55 million and has been paid for primarily through donor mon­ey earmarked for the elections, a UN Development Program official said Tuesday.

Registration, which opened Jan 17 and ended last week, was paid for primarily by the $1,411,731 in donor money that the UNDP had  received from Au­stralia, Den­mark, New Zealand and Canada, said Sue Spencer, spokeswoman for the UNDP.

The UNDP is responsible for coordinating and managing the donor money contributed to the National Election Committee and the government for many countries, she said.

So far, the UNDP has received $1,411,731 from four countries. Australia gave $445,000; Denmark gave $382,431; New Zealand gave $250,000; and Canada gave $334,300. All has been used for the election process, she said.

The government previously estimated that the national elections will cost $12.5 million, with the government contributing $5 million. The remainder is expected to come from donors.

Although no countries other than Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Denmark have delivered pledges, several countries have promised to help.

The European Union has informally pledged less than $1 million, while Sweden unofficially announced in November that it would give about $500,000.

On Tuesday, the British Min­ister for International De­vel­opment, Sally Keeble, announced that the UK would contribute about $1 million for the elections, which will “strengthen the capacity of the NEC and civil society organizations,” according to a statement from the UK.

About $600,000 of that amount will go directly to the NEC, a UNDP official said.

Seven nations—Japan, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Ger­­many, the Netherlands and Norway—have not told the UNDP how much they will contribute.

Japan does not contribute money through the UNDP, Spencer said.

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