Irish Aid provides support for first multiparty elections in the Congo since 1960
Conor Lenihan T.D., Minister of State, today announced a contribution by Irish Aid of €800,000 towards the organisation of national elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 30 July.
Minister Lenihan said today:
“Successful elections are absolutely critical to the consolidation of peace and security in the DRC and in the Great Lakes region. These are the first multi- party elections to be held in the DRC since independence in 1960.
After the enormous humanitarian tragedy of recent years in the DRC and the region, the international community must do everything in its power to support the people of the DRC at this time of hope and opportunity. This contribution is part of Ireland's response and follows recent discussions with the Governments of the DRC and South Africa”.
The funding will be provided to the South African Independent Election Commission (IEC) which is working closely with the Government of the DRC in the area of election logistics, training of voting staff, establishment of voting and results centres, creation of a conflict management system and information technology.
Ireland's contribution will be to support the partnership role of the South African IEC in the organisation of the elections, including the provision of several hundred election experts.
The total estimated cost of the elections in the DRC (a country the size of Western Europe) is over $300 million. This latest contribution will bring total Irish support for the electoral process in the DRC to €1.3 million, following an initial contribution of €500,000 announced by the Minister for Foreign Affairs last September.
Minister Lenihan noted that Ireland provided over €11 million for development and recovery in the DRC since 2002 and has provided €5 million to date in 2006, including this contribution for assistance to the electoral process in the DRC.
11 May 2006