Islamabad: 18th March 2013
The Government of Japan decided to extend a grant of 183 million Japanese Yen (approximately US$ 2 million) to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan through the UNDP to support the electoral process in Pakistan.
The grant will fund (i) polling staff training, (ii) development of elections results management, and (iii) voter education and public outreach. Through these activities, the project aims to strengthen capacity of the Election Commission of Pakistan and to enhance participation of the general public in the elections, including women and the youth.
The notes to this effect were signed and exchanged between Mr. Akira Kono, Chargé d'Affaires of Japan to Pakistan and Mr.Marc-André Franche, Country Director, UNDP, Pakistan. Mr.Mohammad Afzal Khan,Additional Secretary, Election Commission of Pakistan was also present to witness the signing.
In his remarks at the signing ceremony, Mr. Kono described that the next election would be another landmark in the history of democracy in Pakistan. He continued that “it is essential that both the authorities and the people in Pakistan play their roles in order to make the upcoming elections credible, transparent and inclusive”.
Further, he expressed his hope that this project will be effectively implemented by the Election Commission of Pakistan and the UNDP, in close coordination with other partners. He encouraged every stakeholder in Pakistan to work for credible, transparent, and inclusive elections. By doing so, he stated, Pakistan can show to the world that the country has completed yet another stage of consolidating its democracy and he would like to see that today’s agreement will help Pakistan to achieve this goal. (End)