Sweden and UNDP Sign US$ 4.8 million Financing Agreement to Support Liberia's Electoral Process
03 August 2021
On July 30, 2021, the Government of Sweden and UNDP Signed a US$ 4.8 million Financing Agreement for Support of Liberia Electoral Support Project
The main objective of LESP is to strengthen electoral and democratic institutions and processes in Liberia, focusing on strengthening inclusion and transparency of the electoral process, enhancing institutional capacity and accountability of electoral stakeholders, and strengthening the peaceful conduct of elections, with particular attention to early warning mechanisms, the conduct of security forces, and violence against women in elections.
H.E. Ingrid Wetterqvist, Swedish Ambassador to Liberia, stated, “The Swedish support is firmly based on the new Swedish Strategy for Development Cooperation in Liberia 2021-2025, and, in particular, strengthened democratic governance and rights, including Women's Political Participation and Leadership, while peace is further consolidated through the higher levels of capacities, integrity, transparency and accountability amongst the electoral stakeholders.” She added, “In addition, a part of the upcoming support from Sweden will also encompass supporting Civil Society, with particular emphasis on election observation. Thus, providing a balanced and comprehensive package of support to electoral assistance.”
Sweden’s commitment to supporting both the Liberia National Elections Commission (NEC) and UNDP efforts to strengthen electoral and democratic processes in Liberia dates back to 2010-2014 when funding was provided for elections basket fund. The support to LESP will target in particular inclusion- with a specific focus on women’s political participation, civic and voter education, capacity development of electoral and democratic institutions, as well as prevention of electoral violence.
Acting UNDP Resident Representative Violet Baffour observed "Sweden has been an essential partner in UNDP Liberia's work to develop the capacity of accountable, just, and peaceful institutions that support democratic and electoral processes. Together we are committed to continuing to provide sound and sustainable support to Liberia as it strives to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and its Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development."
The UN Resident Coordinator, Niels Scott stated, “Democracy is always a work in progress, and we appreciate the Government of Sweden’s contribution to Liberia’s democratic process”. He added, “We are especially pleased to see the spotlight will be given to women’s political participation-which will only serve to strengthen democracy”. He also lauded the UNDP on driving this important initiative.
Gradiah Walker Bou Hussein
Associate Development Coordination Officer
Programme Communications & Advocacy