Ethiopia secures $40 million to conduct free election next May

Supporting Ethiopia’s ongoing democratization process and reform, The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and donor countries have provided $40 million financial support to the Electoral Board of Ethiopia.

The Electoral Board of Ethiopia is currently going through reform in order to conduct fair, credible and free general election next May. Out of the total of $40 million $34.6 million is a pledge to by various development partners from 11 donor countries. UNDP will be providing $2 million while the remaining is expected to be raised in the coming months.

The agreement signed by the Board, UNDP and Ethiopia’s Ministry of Finance stats that the fund will be used to strengthen its capacity and ensuring transparency, efficiency and inclusiveness of the electoral operations.

“Ever since the new appointment of the Board, UNDP has been close partner in providing supportive programs,” said Biritukan Mideksa, Chairperson of Electoral Board of Ethiopia. The fund will also be used for facilitating public outreach as well as stakeholder and media engagements as well as capacitating the institution to identify, manage and respond to electoral violence.

“It is necessary to capitalize on the opportunity the reform has brought in order to transform the country to the next level of democratization, which is tested by credible and fair election,” said Ahmed Shide Finance Minister of Ethiopia.

Though Ethiopia is planning to undertake its general election next may critics suggest that it will be difficult to undertake fee, fair and credible election restoring peace in the country, which is currently home for over a million internally displaced people as a result of communal clashes.

It is recalled that because of such conflicts and displacements in some parts of the country, recently the government of Ethiopia has announced postponing for one year its Housing and Population Census.