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Summary: May 7, 2004: Sierra Leone - Commission grants 2 million EUR for local elections (Brussels)
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The European Commission has adopted a proposal to grant € 2 million in support of local government elections in Sierra Leone to be held on 22 May 2004. Funding will cover procurement and shipment of ballot materials, information material for election commissioners and fees for temporary workers employed at polling stations on election day.
On 22 May 2004 13 district councils, 5 town councils and 1 municipal council (Freetown) will be elected. This is the latest culmination of a major governance reform launched by the Sierra Leone government with a view to decentralise the execution of power and re-establish district councils. The reform once fully implemented - is expected to bring about a major shift in the overall governance structure of the country, resulting in more popular participation in public affairs at district level, improved delivery of social services and increased accountability of elected councillors towards their constituents. The European Commission is supporting this process.
The governance reform is part of a wider recovery programme that in the past years has successfully restored civil administration, rehabilitated infrastructure and helped the recovery of the country's economy. These results have been achieved in the wake of the 1991-2001 civil war, which was one of the most devastating in Africa in recent years.
The European Commission is supporting the recovery process in Sierra Leone. € 220 million have been allocated to the country under the 9th EDF. Activities will focus on infrastructure, good governance and macro-economic support. Since the signature of the Country strategy paper in July 2003 more than € 100 million have already been assigned to concrete activities.