Kathmandu: The Election Commission of Nepal has been granted 20 million euros as financial assistance from European Union and other donor agencies for strengthening its capacity and expanding services.
The Election Commission of Nepal (ECN), the European Commission (EC) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed an agreement today to embark on a new partnership to strengthen the foundations of democracy in Nepal, according to a press release issued by the European Union.
A four-year financing agreement was signed between the European Commission and Ministry of Finance to support the Election Commission`s ambitious institutional strengthening reform agenda that is built on its recent successes, according to officials.
A separate project implementation document was also signed between Election Commission and UNDP to implement the reform programme.
The new phase of the project entitled `Electoral Support Project Phase II` was signed at the Ministry of Finance and is a joint initiative of the Government of Nepal, European Commission, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other development partners, according to the statement.
The project has a total budget of 19.978 million euros with the European Commission being a significant contributor to the project, according to the press release.
"The project will support the ECN in carrying out its mandate of holding fair and credible elections, enhancing its institutional capacity both at central and local levels as well as increasing the capacity and reach of the newly established Electoral Education and Information Center," reads a statement issued by the EU.
It will also promote activities to maintain stakeholder confidence in the electoral process and will support the ECN in meeting their increasingly advanced information and communication technology needs.
Alexander Spachis, Ambassador, Head of the European Union Delegation to Nepal said, "EU is committed to democracy around the world. This new support to ECN reflects EU commitment to consolidate democracy and peace in Nepal. Democracy is not limited to elections but periodic free and fair elections are the cornerstones of any democracy."