The first funds of the Basket Fund arrive

The European Union, France and Germany formalized last night their participation in the Basket Fund for the preparations of the upcoming elections in the country. The announcement was made at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), in Alarobia in the presence of CENI President Dama Andrianarisedo, the ambassadors of France, Germany and the EU, the director of the UNDP and the United Nations office. With the contribution of these three donors, the Basket Fund currently amounts to just under 10 billion Ariary.

The CENI initially counted on a need of 140 billion ariary (32 million dollars) to organize the next presidential elections, this budget was subsequently reduced to 80 billion Ar. In the 2023 finance law, the amount provided for is 40 billion Ar, a budget still far from the mark even with the contribution of Europeans. The contribution of other international partners is therefore expected. In 2018, other partners such as USAID, Norway, South Korea, Switzerland and Australia contributed to the Madagascar Electoral Cycle Support Project (SACEM) basket fund.

For the next elections, France and the European Union will each make a contribution of 1 million euros to the Basket Fund created by the United Nations and which will be managed by the UNDP. With this support, the international community has focused on the holding of free, transparent and inclusive elections in the country. For Germany, the amount of its contribution has not yet been specified but a total of 3 million euros will be granted by Germany to the electoral fund of five countries on the continent, including Madagascar.

The use and destination of funds raised under the Basket Fund 2023 will, however, see a slight change from the previous contribution, if we refer to the UNDP statement recently. The fund will indeed be expanded and will finance part of the presidential election, also part of the legislative elections and finally part of the municipal elections. Regarding the presidential election, the support fund will pay for the purchase of ballots, which is the part that requires the largest share of the election budget.

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