The European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have signed an agreement for an additional Euro 1.6 million grant as part of the electoral assistance to Nepal to reinforce their cooperation with the Election Commission of Nepal (ECN).
The grant will be used to provide needful electoral assistance to the ECN through the UNDP-managed Electoral Support Project (ESP).
Ms. Rensje Teerink, EU Ambassador to Nepal and Mr. Renaud Meyer, the Country Director of UNDP in Nepal signed the agreement to this effect on Wednesday. The European Union has already provided financial assistance of Euro 8.4 million for this project in 2012. This contribution is part of the basket fund of US $ 27.8 million, created to support the Election Commission through ESP. Other development partners of the fund are Denmark, Norway, UK Aid and UNDP.
“The European Union is pleased to extend this additional support just as Nepal is poised to hold a series of elections in the coming months,” said Ambassador Teerink. “The EU stands ready and committed to continue technical support in Nepal’s democratic process.”
“UNDP is pleased to partner with the European Union in providing electoral assistance to Nepal. The EU has been generously supporting the process since the 2008 Constituent Assembly elections and this has helped strengthen the capacity of the Election Commission to organize free, fair and credible elections,” said Meyer.
“The electoral support through ESP has helped the Commission in strengthening the electoral process and conducting inclusive and credible elections,” said Mahendra Bhattarai from the Election Commission. “We are thankful to our development partners.”
The Electoral Support Project is dedicated to institutional strengthening and professional development of the Election Commission following the electoral cycle approach, which includes pre-, during- and post-election support.
The EU has mobilized in 2008 and in 2013 Election Observation Missions (EOM) in Nepal and is currently exploring with the Government of Nepal whether also for the upcoming national elections the country wishes an EOM.
The amendment was signed at the European Union Delegation Office in Kathmandu in presence of representatives of the Ministry of Finance and the Election Commission.