UNDP boosts legal aid provision to over 40,000 people in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip, 13 October 2014 – UNDP will provide legal aid services to over 40,000 Palestinians in Gaza who have suffered as a direct result of the 51-day Israeli Operation Protective Edge in July-August 2014, which caused untold death, destruction and damage.
With a USD 530,000 investment, legal aid services will be provided in conjunction with ten local partners in the Gaza Strip. The services provided will help the people in all areas of Gaza seek legal redress, which includes providing legal information, legal advice and mediation, legal and judicial representation, advocacy and policy analysis.
“This legal aid is part of UNDP’s urgent response to people’s real needs. We will focus on those who are most vulnerable, especially the estimated 500,000 people who have been displaced,” stated UNDP Head of Gaza Office Nicholas Hercules, at the signing ceremony.
The agreements will enhance confidence in the justice system and raise legal awareness amongst the most needy, in addition to supporting community reconciliation and mediation. Furthermore, it will support human rights organizations to monitor and document international humanitarian law and human rights violations.
Mr Salam Bseiso, vice president of the Palestinian Bar Association, expressed his appreciation for UNDP’s efforts in strengthening the rule of law “we will work within the new agreement to reach and support the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups as a result of the last conflict. We will also continue to provide awareness raising services and legal aid through 24 legal clinics across the Gaza Strip” he added.
The legal aid provision is part of a USD 29.5 million UNDP/UN Women Joint Programme to strengthen the rule of law and improve access to justice across the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Agreements were signed with ten civil society partners in Gaza: the Palestinian Bar Association (PBA), the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, Al-Dameer Association for Human Rights, Al Ataa' Charitable Society (ACS), Al-Mustaqbal Association for Violence Victims Care, the Supreme Co-ordinating Committee of Women Programme Centres, Centre for Women’s Legal Research and Consulting, National Society for Democracy and Law, and Wefaq Society For Woman and Child Care.
Over the past 4 years, UNDP’s Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People has provided legal aid to 15,000 people and legal awareness to an additional 48,000. UNDP’s legal empowerment approach is considered as an integral part of the strategic objective to eradicate poverty and achieve comprehensive human development.
Dania Darwish, Communications Specialist, Tel. +972-2-6268229 – e-mail: email@example.com.
For more information on UNDP/PAPP see http://www.ps.undp.org.