The European Union (EU) delegation near Monrovia has dispelled comments in the Daily Observer’s February 8 editorial that most of the funding for the 2017 presidential and legislative elections rests on government.
The editorial titled, “NEC, UNDP and Camera Manufacturers Working Hard to Fix Camera,” mentioned that, “There is a minimal donor funding, such as UNDP’s provision of the cameras, but Chairman Korkoya says most of the donor funding is being expended on the donors’ own activities surrounding the electoral process.”
In EU’s reaction, the Head of Cooperation Section on Governance, Hans Lambrecht, clarified that the donor community has allotted the total of US$42 million for support to the Liberian electoral cycle, 2015 to 2018.
Country and institutions that provided the fund, according to Lambrecht, are Sweden, the EU and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), with the UNDP as implementing partner or contractor for the use of this fund.
Mr. Lambrecht said Sweden provided US$2.7 million, UNDP $1 million and the EU $11 million.
According to him, the electoral project to which these contributions were made has the duration of 42 months beginning from October 28, 2015 to May 31, 2019.
The objective, according to Lambrecht, is to increase the ability of the National Elections Commission (NEC) and the other electoral stakeholders to conduct their core activities in an impartial, transparent and sustainable manner.
At the level of global objective, he said the funding is intended to enhance the democratization process in Liberia with emphasis on improving electoral institutions and processes.
According to the EU Head of Cooperation Section on Governance, expected results are to ensure that NEC’s capacity requirements are identified and needs addressed, lessons learnt from the 2014 elections serve as baseline for future programing and support; voter registration is updated and voter registration process is improved; and women’s political participation and leadership is enhanced.
Other expected results are security forces act in line with international standards during the election; that civic and voter education is carried out with support of civil society organizations; support the electoral legal framework and the constitution review process as it relates to elections; and harmonization of the election law and regulation.
Additionally, logistics and operational support will be provided the NEC and core electoral stakeholders to contribute to the successful conduct of national elections; project set-up and management ensured; and donor coordination mechanisms established and effectively functional.
“The lower contribution of the donors to the election, even though still significant, also shows that donors are expecting the government to take more complete ownership of the elections process this cycle. It is imperative that the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning transfers appropriated funds to the
NEC and LNP for proper and efficient planning and execution, and lives up to the government’s financial commitment to the elections,” he added.