United States Government Contributes $1.2 Million to Strengthen 2018 Elections Preparedness
Contribution will support CENI and civic engagement in elections process
ANTANANARIVO — The United States government today announced $1.2 million to help Madagascar conduct free, fair, transparent, and inclusive elections in 2018. The money is a grant to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) led multi-donor program to strengthen the National Independent Election Commission (CENI) and enhance civic engagement in the upcoming elections.
“The money we are announcing today will support CENI’s management of the upcoming elections, enable activities that will bolster transparency, and boost citizen confidence in the electoral process,” said U.S. Ambassador Robert T. Yamate at the announcement, held at CENI headquarters. “The U.S. government is committed to helping the government of Madagascar and CENI ensure that the 2018 elections are inclusive, impartial and reflect the free will of the Malagasy people.”
This $1.2 million is the largest grant made available to UNDP thus far to support the slate of election needs identified in the Support to the Electoral Cycle of Madagascar (SACEM) elections program. SACEM emerged from a needs assessment conducted by the United Nations and it is the primary vehicle for assisting Madagascar’s national electoral process and reinforcing CENI’s capacity.
The money will be used to provide training on operations and logistics of election preparation for regular and temporary staff at central, provincial, regional, district, and commune levels. It will fund the production and distribution of a variety of important materials, including election management and voting procedure manuals, a compilation of laws and regulations on the elections process, and the development, adoption, and publication of a code of conduct for CENI election staff. Finally, the funds will also be used to engage civil society organizations to support elections preparations, particularly for communications, raising awareness, and community mobilization.
The funding was made available through a special fund established by the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) that provides support for countries with upcoming elections.