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Haiti - Election : The bill

Parts of a UNDP document

Submitted to AlterPresse on February 2, 2006

The international community, through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has contributed US$59,026,754 in support of the electoral process in Haiti. The funds come respectively from the Haitian government (US$2,900,000), Canada (US$16,160,183), the European Union (US$20,481,389), the United States of America (US$17,194,424), Brazil (US$1,000,000) and Japan (US$890,757). UNDP has also directly contributed (US$400,000).

UNDP, which receives and administers financial contributions from those supporting Haiti’s elections, works to support CEP, a national institution which is responsible for organising the elections, and also works closely with other stakeholders. Some of these stakeholders: MINUSTAH (United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti), which is a focal point for the international community and which provides technical support for CEP and its decentralised departments; the Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS), which is responsible for overseeing the effective running of the voter registration process, as well as all other activities approved by the Electoral Cooperation Commission (CCE). All activities linked to the elections are carried out in consultation with the electoral body. Seven agreements (Memoranda of Understanding) involving total sums of US$11,037,140 have already been signed with CEP. An eighth agreement, involving US$10,860,440 is currently being finalised.

On 30 November 2005, UNDP, following a request from its partners in this project (CEP, MINUSTAH and OAS), provided US$58,570,172.77 to this project. Organising elections in Haiti is a process which requires establishment of an adequate logistical framework, as the country does not have the basic infrastructure required for this type of operation. This large-scale operation has involved:

1. Purchase of computer equipment, office supplies and fittings: more than 7 million dollars’ worth of technical supplies and various fittings have been purchased for these elections. These include:

- Electoral supplies: 30,0000 ballot boxes and more than 13 million ballot papers;
- Vehicles: 45 4x4 pickups and 220 motorcycles;
- Electricity generating equipment: 200 generators and 850 solar panels;
- Communication equipment : 900 communication radios, 20 GPS communication radios, 17 satellite telephones, 108 mobile telephones ;
- Computer equipment: 24 laptops, 10 printers, 11 scanners;
- Office furniture: 1428 tables, 5786 chairs, 669 fans and 1161 filing systems.
- Various items: 50 video cameras, 300 megaphones.

2. Refurbishment of voter registration centres: More than 400 voter registration centres and 200 mobile centres have been set up and are operational, across the country. To achieve this, UNDP, together with its partners (CEP, OAS and MINUSTAH), has made available the equipment required for running a voter registration system.

3. Centre security: In order to offset the lack of resources in the Haiti National Police and MINUSTAH, CEP, in consultation with MINUSTAH, UNDP and UNPOL (the United Nations police), has recruited, trained and equipped 3600 Electoral Security Officers (ASEs). Deployment of officers and office security management are carried out collectively by CEP, MINUSTAH, UNPOL and UNDP.

4. Media campaign: In addition to providing secure voter registration centres, CEP, in collaboration with MINUSTAH and UNDP, has launched a media campaign centred around civic education and information, with a budget of US$3.7 million. Additionally, with a view to informing citizens and raising awareness of electoral issues, CEP, in collaboration with UNDP and MINUSTAH, has recruited and deployed 4500 civic officers across the country for a period of 4 months (September-December 2005). This campaign has been one of the key factors in the success of the registration process. 3.5 million Haitians, out of the 4.5 million who are of voting age, have registered.

5. Electoral Centre staff: 40,000 staff have been recruited and trained, in order to ensure that the elections run smoothly.