15 October 2010 - The UN Integrated Referendum and Electoral Division (UNIRED) delivered office furniture, computers and training kits valued at $7 million to the Juba- based Southern Sudan Referendum Bureau (SSRB) to support upcoming registration of voters for the January 2011 referendum.
SSRB Chairperson Justice Chan Reec Madut described the assistance as "indispensable", commending the UN and international community for their continuing support.
Mr. Madut added that the items would be dispatched to each of Southern Sudan's 10 state high committees and 79 county sub-committees in the coming days.
The first consignment of referendum support material to arrive in the semi-autonomous region, the shipment also contained generators, motorcycles, printers and toners. More deliveries are expected in the coming weeks.
UNIRED Director Dennis Kadima told a Khartoum press conference last month that the division was a collaborative effort involving UNMIS and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) electoral teams as well as the UN International Office for Migration.
Their role is to support the Khartoum-based Southern Sudan Referendum Commission and its subsidiary bodies in organizing and conducting a peaceful and successful referendum.
The materials were procured through a $58 million budget that was drawn from a basket fund and set aside by the UN Support to Southern Sudan Referendum Project to provide technical and logistical assistance for the self-determination referendum, scheduled for 9 January 2011.
"This is a historic moment at this stage that is happening here in Juba. The UN is supporting the referendum process," said Project Manager Azhar Saeed Malik.
The basket fund's donors include the European Union and seven countries -- the Netherlands, Japan, United Kingdom, Canada, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.
Speaking on behalf of the fund, Marjolein Jongman of the Netherlands hailed the "concrete result" of delivering the materials and expressed her confidence that the rest of the referendum materials, including ballot boxes, will arrive on schedule.