Tuesday, April 13, 2021, Dar es Salaam: Today, the Legal Services Facility (LSF) and the Danish Embassy, DANIDA in Tanzania have signed a one-year agreement of TZS 5.6 billion (USD 2.4 million) for additional funding for 2021 to support the implementation of LSF’s access to justice program.
LSF has received the additional grant in order to increase access to justice for Tanzanians. The program aims at improving the legal empowerment environment, by building and strengthening the capacity of organizations providing legal aid- and paralegal services to vulnerable groups in the communities, especially women and children.
Furthermore, the access to justice program aims at building a sustainable foundation for legal aid services in Tanzania by reviewing various discriminative systems, policies, and laws that hinder the social welfare and development of women and children in the communities with the view of improving access to justice systems in the country at all levels.
The program aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 number 5 and 16 on gender equality and empowerment for women and promotion of access to justice for all. In addition, the program aligns with the Tanzania Development Vision 2025, which recognizes the need to strive towards creating a sound mechanism for peace and good governance, of which the main attribute is sustainable access to justice system.
Speaking during the signing event, the Danish Ambassador to Tanzania, Mette Nørgaard Dissing-Spandet said that Denmark has decided to commit additional funds to LSF in order to ensure access to justice in Tanzania is upheld. “LSF and the Danish Embassy have been trusted partners for almost 10 years. LSF has been doing a great job showing important results in access to justice within land disputes, matrimonial disputes, inheritance, child maintenance, and gender-based violence practices. Especially for women and children – a Danish priority. I believe, this support will help improving formal and informal justice systems including paralegal services, which help facilitate timely access to justice”.
“I believe that this support will facilitate better policies and laws that protect all Tanzanians. This funding is part of our focus on ensuring that all communities in Tanzania benefits from a legal system providing true rule of law that respects everyone regardless of age or gender,” said Ambassador Mette Nørgaard Dissing-Spandet.
From LSF, the Chief Executive Officer, Lulu Ng’wanakilala is happy for the additional funds: “This funding will continue to facilitate access to free legal aid and paralegal services for those who need it the most across the country through more than 4000 paralegals. We are very grateful to the Danish Embassy for their continued support in the implementation of our key program countrywide. For almost 10 years now, Denmark has been instrumental in ensuring that our program benefits all citizens, especially women and children”.
Lulu Ng’wanakilala further highlighted the results from last year: “In 2020, LSF managed to provide legal aid services to almost 100.000 individuals in different parts of Tanzania and Zanzibar, where more than half (60 percent) were women. Out of all the reported cases to paralegals, almost 60 percent were resolved. LSF has also provided legal education to more than 6 million people across the country”, she told the Danish Ambassador during the signing event.
The additional funds come on top of 10 years of support with approx. TZS 65 Billion (USD 28 Million) as well as an extra election grant on TZS 720 million (USD 311,471) to facilitate 31 LSF grantee organizations accredited by National Election Commission (NEC) to conduct voter’s education and election observation for the 2020 General election.
For more information visit www.lsftz.org or contact:
Jane Matinde- Resources Mobilization and Communications Manager
Mtapa Wilson – Communication Officer