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Cablegate: Afghan Voter Registration

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBUL #1970 2121444
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 301444Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4932

UNCLAS KABUL 001970

STATE FOR SCA/FO RBOUCHER PMOON
USAID FOR ASIA/AA MWARD

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KDEM EAID UNDP
SUBJECT: AFGHAN VOTER REGISTRATION

1. (SBU) The Afghan voter registration process is moving forward.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) presented its operational
plan and budget to donors, who responded positively; commitments
received cover the total proposed budget of $101.5 million (led by
the USG's $65 million and with additional contributions from Great
Britain, Germany, Canada, Norway and Sweden). The registration
process is planned in four phases starting October 6 (with those
areas expected to be most affected by winter snows addressed first)
and procurement of materials, recruitment of registration staff,
training, and public outreach/information campaigns are ready,
pending signing of a USAID/UNDP agreement to obligate funds. UNDP
was selected by UNAMA to manage the registration process, and they
did this successfully in 2005 (though with administrative and
financial management weaknesses that have now been addressed). It
is urgent that this program move forward as quickly and effectively
as possible to permit elections to proceed on schedule.

2. (SBU) UNDP has submitted to USAID a program budget and work plan
for the registration effort: we have reviewed them and found them
satisfactory. In addition, USAID and UNDP have agreed to include
additional measures to provide close and effective oversight of the
program to ensure sound management. Both UNDP and USAID are anxious
to proceed quickly, to meet urgent procurement timelines necessary
to keep the elections time-table on track.

3. (SBU) Post will proceed to sign the agreement with UNDP and will
work closely with them to support and implement this
presidential-priority program.

WOOD

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