Japan supports elections in CAROct 22, 2015
The Government of Japan has made a USD 550,000 contribution to finance the upcoming elections in the Central African Republic (CAR) and ensure women and men in CAR and in neighboring countries go and vote.
In CAR, the assistance will be used, through the Basket Fund managed by UNDP, for civic education and voter outreach, reinforcement of the capacities of the National Electoral Authority (ANE) and the Constitutional Court, as well as technical support to the High Council of Communication and for training the journalists.
Japan will also work closely with UNHCR to help Central African refugees vote in the Republic of Congo, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon. UNHCR will ensure their protection, facilitate voter registration efforts and conduct sensitization campaigns in refugee camps.
The 2013 constitution in CAR gives every adult citizen the right to vote, including women and men living abroad. To date, nearly 465,000 CAR refugees are hosted in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad and the Republic of Congo.
Aurélien Agbénonci, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in CAR, said including refugees in the vote was key to promote reconciliation and social cohesion in the country: “We all want free, transparent, inclusive and open elections to everyone."
“Central African populations are facing a difficult situation at present and CAR is at a turning point in its political history. The participation of the population and the refugees in the elections is crucial for the foundation of the Central African democracy and peaceful elections will contribute to sustain social and economic development of the country,” said Kunio Okamura, Ambassador of Japan in Cameroon.
“Japan has decided to support the elections as a contribution to making a better future for the people of Central African Republic,” he added.
The Government of Japan also finances humanitarian assistance for internally displaced people, refugees and communities affected by the conflict.