The European Commission (EC), the executive agency of the European Union (EU), on Monday announced an extra 16 million euros (20.6 U.S. dollars) to finance the current elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
According to the EC press, the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, made the move in response to a request from the Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan.
The additional funds made the EU the biggest donor to the DRC election process, which has so far contributed 165 million euros (212 million U.S. dollars)
The EU is also involved in the DRC through programs concerned with health, justice, governance, reform of the security sector and the restoration of basic infrastructure.
It also finances humanitarian aid to the people most in need via an aid package that amounted to some 50 million euros (64.3 million U.S. dollars)in 2006.
In the meantime, for the present elections, the European Union is sending its largest ever observation team.
"On 30 July this year, by their massive turnout and exemplary behavior, the electors of Congo gave their leaders and politicians an important lesson in democracy and civic responsibility," Michel was quoted as saying by the EC press.
"With a view to the second round of the presidential election due to take place on Oct. 29, I urge both candidates to accept the verdict of the ballot-box and abide by the election results unconditionally," he added.
Fighting broke out between forces loyal to DRC President Joseph Kabila and those loyal to his deputy Jean-Pierre Bemba after results were published late last month. The results showed that the two men had to compete in a run-off in October.