The government of Japan has signed an agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to provide three million dollars for the upcoming election. The grant, which will be implemented through UNDP’s Supporting Elections for Ethiopia’s Democracy Strengthening Project (SEEDS) will go toward the procurement of ballot boxes and indelible ink markers to curb double voting. The financing agreement was signed last week between Daisuke Matsunaga, ambassador of Japan to Ethiopia, and Turhan Saleh, UNDP Ethiopia’s resident representative, in the presence of Birtukan Mideksa, chairperson of the National Election Board for Ethiopia. Through SEEDS, the UNDP was able to mobilize 40 million dollars from various contributors including Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Japan, Norway and Sweden, while the United Kingdom provided 50pc of the grant. The intervention areas of the project include strengthening institutional capacity in terms of transparency, efficiency and inclusiveness of the electoral operations; facilitating public outreach and engagement with stakeholders and the media; and enabling institutions to identify, manage and respond to electoral violence.
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