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Afghanistan: UN appeals for urgent donations to make up election shortfall

11 August 2005 Just 10 days after reporting additional funding for Afghanistan’s elections, the United Nations mission said today that no further money had come in and it appealed urgently to donors to make up the nearly $20-million shortfall for holding the September poll.

“The current funding gap remains a serious concern six weeks before the elections and we hope other donors will soon come up and make further contributions to fill, without delay, the remaining funding gap of $19.3 million,” UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) spokesperson Ariane Quentier told a news briefing in Kabul, the capital.

On 1 August, UNAMA reported that over $31 million of the requested $149 million were still needed to fund the elections, and it expressed concern that this gap could affect preparations for the legislative and provincial polls.

Within a week, donors contributed an additional $12 million, bringing the funding gap down to $19.3 million, but no new pledges or contributions have been made since then.

Announcing the $12 million in new funding on 8 August, Ms. Quentier said the elections would not be postponed and the funding gap was not threatening the poll.

“The problem is not whether we are going to get the money; rather, when are we going to get the money – this is always a slow process,” she said then. “It is just a matter of getting the money rapidly so that the preparations of the elections can be conducted in the best possible way.”

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