10 November 2010 -- The United Nations Integrated Referendum and Electoral Division (UNIRED) today delivered 20 new Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles procured by the UN Development Programme to the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission's Deputy Chairperson Justice Chan Reec Madut.
Speaking during the official handover ceremony at the Juba offices of the Southern Sudan Referendum Bureau (SSRB), UNIRED Director Denis Kadima said the vehicles were purchased with money from the Support to the Southern Sudan Referendum Project Basket Fund, which has received donations from the European Union, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, France and Australia.
"We are moving step by step together to ensure that all logistical and technical support required are provided to ensure the successful conduct of this referendum," said Mr. Kadima.
Mr. Madut, who also serves as Chairperson of the SSRB, thanked the Basket Fund donors, the United Nations and the international community for their assistance.
"There are many challenges, but if we work together we will overcome them," he said.
Mr. Madut urged all the referendum state high committees in Southern Sudan and county-level sub-committees to redouble their efforts on behalf of the much awaited vote scheduled to begin on 9 January 2011.
"Initially we thought the referendum process may not take place because of an inadequate number of vehicles for transport," he noted. "There is no excuse now, and though (the vehicles are) not enough, at least use the few you have to carry out the activities required."
The basket fund for support of the Southern Sudan referendum process has a $58 million budget, and Project Manager Azhar Malik said that $34 million has been received to date.
Prior to today's delivery of the Toyota Land Cruisers which cost $40,000 each, the SSRB had received 90 vehicles from the Government of Southern Sudan.
Mr. Madut said the total number of vehicles required for the referendum is about 300.
The shortfall will be made up with funds provided by UNIRED to the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission for the rental of over 200 vehicles in Southern Sudan and some northern states.