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Agreement signed to enhance accessibility to legal aid

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: The Ministry of Justice signed Saturday an agreement with the Asia Foundation, aimed at establishing a roadmap of legal aid in order to increase people’s accessibility in the justice system across the country.

The roadmap of legal aid would be completed within one year by the Asia Foundation, where the needs of people to legal aid and the structure that would be implemented by the government would be assessed and combined in the roadmap.

“By establishing roadmap of legal aid the Ministry of Justice would strive hard to enhance legal aid accessibility in the country,” Abdul Basir Anwar,Justice Minister told newsmen in Kabul.

He said that based on article 31 of Constitution, the Ministry was responsible to provide legal aid for vulnerable people, so the ministry wouldtake step to provide further facilities to the people in the aspect.

“The project of establishing roadmap would cost $343,932 and funded by the World Bank and would be implemented by the Asia Foundation within one year,” he added.

He furthered that currently 301 lawyerswere working in legal aid areas in different organs across the country.

Pointing to the lack of coordination programs in the aspect of legal aid, he said that weak coordination in running legal aid programs was the main reason behind inaccessibility of the people to the legal aid in some remote areas across the country.

“The ministry would exert utmost efforts to increase coordination to implement legal aid programs throughout the country in order to bring balance in providing legal aid programs,” he asserted.

He added that totally the World Bank donated $85.5 million for justice and legal aid project of Afghanistan, in which out of $38.3 million was allocated for the Ministry of Justice and the remained one for Attorney General Office and Supreme Court.

Head of the Asia Foundation, Abdullah Ahmadzaisaid that our team would assess the level of need of people to legal aidswhich is going tobe concluded in the roadmap and help the government to follow a structure to facilitate legal aids and accessibility to advocacy lawyer in a better manner.

Assessment program for establishing a roadmap would cover eight provinces of Afghanistan, he said, adding that the roadmap would help the government to draft a strategy for running legal aid programs across the country.

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