Australia Provides Election Support

SYDNEY,December 21 (The Australian): Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced on Saturday Australia will provide $5 million to support the 2009 presidential election.

Prime Minister Rudd made the announcement after he returned from Trainkot in the Oruzgan province, where he met Australian troops on deployment.

According to Prim Minister Rudd, the Australian Government will provide $3 million to the United Nations Development Program to help the Independent Election Commission (IEC) build a national voter registration campaign which will sign up more than 2 million new voters.

Further, the Australian Government will provide $2 million towards the Asia Foundation's work with the AIEC and civil society partners to implement electoral education and public outreach programs in Afghanistan.

In 2008-09, AusAID which is the Australian aid agency in Afghanistan will provide an estimated $62 million of much needed development assistance to Afghanistan.