Afghanistan

Emergency assistance to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the wolesi jirga and provincial council elections in Afghanistan

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The Government of Japan decided on July 15 (Fri) to extend emergency assistance whose amount is $8 million (856 million yen) to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the purpose of assisting the 2004-2005 Afghan Elections Project PHASE II in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan's political process, based on the Bonn Agreement in December 2001, has witnessed the establishment of the Transitional Administration in June 2002, the adoption and promulgation of a new constitution in January 2004, and a presidential election on October 9, 2004, which resulted in the election of President Mr. Hamid Karzai. In March 2005, the Joint Electoral Management Body (JEMB), organized by the Independent Election Commission and the U.N. Organizations (the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the UNDP), announced that it would carry out elections of Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of the Parliament) and Provincial Council elections on September 18, 2005. Grounded on provisions of the new constitution, the political process of Afghanistan, i.e. Bonn process, will conclude with the inauguration of the parliament after the elections.

The JEMB has, therefore, requested the international community to extend prompt assistance for election costs, including those for the operation of the JEMB, preparation for election, voting operation, education of citizens, policy PR, policy monitoring, and election observation.

Japan has so far extended comprehensive assistance to Afghanistan in all fields, such as political process, improvement of security and reconstruction, aiming to realize the "consolidation of peace." Japan is extending this emergency assistance in light of the crucial significance of assisting the implementation of the elections which will culminate the political process of Afghanistan.

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