Jordan Times – Legal aid project to expand services

Legal aid project to expand services
by Zain Khasawneh | Feb 23, 2012 | 23:22
AMMAN — Thousands of impoverished Jordanians, especially women, will receive legal aid through a newly expanded project to help the disadvantaged navigate the justice system, according to the organisation implementing the initiative.

The “Enhancing Community-Driven Legal Aid Services to the Poor” project will now expand its legal aid clinics to cover nine governorates instead of three, and will provide representation in 6,400 cases and 9,500 consultations over the next three years, Hadeel Abdel Aziz, executive director of the Justice Centre for Legal Aid (JCLA), said at a launch ceremony Thursday.

Under the $2.6 million expansion, funded by Japan through the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF), a World Bank institution, the JCLA will also hold over 270 awareness sessions targeting at least 7,500 participants across the Kingdom, she added.

So far, over 70 per cent of the project’s beneficiaries have been women with family-related cases, Abdel Aziz said, and women will continue to be the main beneficiaries of the centre’s services.

“Jordan’s modern vision of its legal system encouraged the World Bank to sponsor this project,” World Bank Regional Director Hedi Larbi told The Jordan Times on the sidelines of the launch ceremony.

Outlining his country’s efforts to provide aid to Jordan, Japanese Ambassador Junichi Kosuge said Japan gives priority to projects that reduce poverty and address economic and social disparities.

The JCLA started offering its services in the Kingdom in 2008, providing legal consultation and representation in court for the vulnerable segments of society, in association with various civil society institutions working in underprivileged areas.

The JCLA started with nine full-time law consultants operating out of six centres in Amman, Madaba and Zarqa governorates; the expansion will allow it to open additional offices in Irbid, Mafraq, Maan, Karak, Tafileh and Aqaba governorates.

The centre has provided 2,219 consultations and represented over 1,400 beneficiaries in court to date, according to the JCLA website.

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