08 Jun 2015
Urgent financing is required to finalize preparations for the upcoming general elections in the Central African Republic (CAR), representatives from the United Nations said today at a meeting organized by the UN Peacebuilding Commission.
The electoral basket fund, managed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), needs an extra US$ 21.2 million to finance crucial operations– such as procuring and transporting ballots and ballot boxes – implementing civic education and communication efforts, and providing technical expertise for the institutions in charge of managing the vote. The basket fund is currently funded by the Central African Republic, the European Union, France and UNDP.
“We’ve brought the country to the beginning of the end of the tunnel. If we don’t heed its call, we risk falling to an even lower point,” said Aurélien Agbénonci, the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian and UNDP Resident Representative in CAR, pointing out that a transparent and inclusive election is key to the country’s stabilization and political transition.
Preparations for the elections are underway and important milestones have already been achieved. For instance, the National Elections Authority (ANE) has established 122 of its 142 field offices, while procurement of key equipment is on-going to register an expected 2.5 million voters starting in July.
In parallel, efforts are underway, supported by the international community, to secure and stabilize the country; strengthen social cohesion and promote reconciliation; restore the authority of the State and boost economic growth and recovery among communities.
In May, the government, supported by UNDP and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) with funding from the UN Peacebuilding Commission, organized a comprehensive peace and reconciliation forum in Bangui, aiming to establish a common vision for the country’s future.
“There is in CAR a strong aspiration to turn the page, overcome differences and build a future that offers stability and shared prosperity,” said Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, the Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa. “We cannot let our guard down. This is a tipping point and if we give it the requisite impulse, CAR may be a very different country a few years down the line”.
The government has also vowed to fight impunity, as exemplified by its decision to establish a special criminal court to prosecute the most serious crimes committed since December 2013.
UNDP and development partners are leading a vast programme to restore the authority of the State and safeguard core government services.
The sectarian violence in the Central African Republic has uprooted 886,000 people and left more than half the country’s population in need of immediate assistance.
Nicolas Douillet, UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa, firstname.lastname@example.org , Tel: +1 (212) 906-5937
Christian Ndotah, Communications Specialist, UNDP CAR; Tel : + (236) 75 50 55 45/72 50 55 45/70 50 55 45/ email@example.com