UN Democracy Fund receives $10 million boost from Japan

UN Democracy Fund receives $10 million boost from Japan

The United Nations Democracy Fund, an initiative which supports projects to strengthen new and restored democracies, received a $10 million contribution from Japan, and the country now joins the ranks of the United States, India and Qatar as the Fund’s largest donators.

“Japan sincerely hopes the assistance through the United Nations to those countries that wish to promote and consolidate their democracies would contribute to the realization of a peaceful and prosperous world,” Ambassador Kenzo Oshima said in a letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announcing his country’s intention of contributing to the fund.

Established in July 2005 by former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Fund “currently finances more than a hundred projects around the world aimed at strengthening democratic institutions and supporting democratic civil society organizations,” said Michele Montas, the Secretary-General’s spokesperson.

Projects receiving the Fund’s assistance include two awarded to Liberia late last year in the amount of $500,000 to fight corruption, professionalize the legislature and increase youth participation in the political process.

The Fund, headquartered in New York, is financially supported through voluntary contributions and aims to complement the work of UN agencies.

To date, almost 30 Member States have contributed to the Fund, and Japan’s donation brings the Fund’s current capacity to $65 million, which Ms. Montas said will finance a new round of projects to be announced this spring.