Friday , June 14 2024

World Bank Suspends Funding to Uganda Over Anti-Gay Law

The recent passage of the anti-homosexuality law has resulted in human rights violations, according to the World Bank, which has frozen any future funding for projects in Uganda.

According to a statement from the Bank, more assistance will not be released until Ugandan authorities have proper policies in place to safeguard minorities, including LGBTQ+ and other commonly categorised groups.

“Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act fundamentally contradicts the World Bank Group’s values. We believe our vision to eradicate poverty on a liveable planet can only succeed if it includes everyone irrespective of race, gender, or sexuality,” the Bank said on Tuesday.

“This law undermines those efforts. Inclusion and non-discrimination sit at the heart of our work around the world.”

In May, President Yoweri Museveni signed into law the Anti-Homosexuality Act, providing penalties as high as a death sentence for “aggravated homosexuality.” It drew condemnations from rights groups and Western countries such as the US who threatened sanctions. The US is a key shareholder in the World Bank and has almost always produced its president.

The World Bank said it has been prevailing upon Kampala to reconsider the law.

A team from the Bank, it said, have been speaking with Ugandan officials on “additional measures that are necessary to ensure projects are implemented in alignment with our environmental and social standards.”

“Our goal is to protect sexual and gender minorities from discrimination and exclusion in the projects we finance. These measures are currently under discussion with the authorities. No new public financing to Uganda will be presented to our Board of Executive Directors until the efficacy of the additional measures has been tested.

Even prior to the passage of this legislation, Uganda’s previous penal code prohibited same-sex relationships.

However, detractors claimed that because the new rule threatens penalties for those who conceal homosexuality, it eliminates any potential protections for minorities who may no longer be allowed to rent property.

Additionally, it imposes the death penalty for repeat offenders who break the legislation, especially those who use gay sex to spread deadly diseases like HIV/AIDS. Promoters of homosexuality face up to 20 years in prison.

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