World bank suspend loans to Uganda over anti-gay laws

The World Bank has said that it would no longer be giving out loans to Uganda in response to the LGBT+ crackdown in the East African country that has introduced some of the most punitive anti-gay bills in the world.

Homosexual acts were already illegal in Uganda, but anyone now convicted faces life imprisonment under the new law which was enacted in May.

The World Bank said in a statement that the East African country’s anti-LGBTQ law, which makes “aggravated homosexuality” a capital offense and imposes penalties of up to life in prison for consensual same-sex relations, contradicts its values.

It read;

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

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

“Immediately after the law was enacted, the World Bank deployed a team to Uganda to review our portfolio in the context of the new legislation.

“That review determined additional measures 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.

“Third-party monitoring and grievance redress mechanisms will significantly increase, allowing us to take corrective action as necessary.”

Uganda dismissed the move by the World Bank as unjust and hypocritical. Uganda’s state minister for foreign affairs, Okello Oryem, accused the bank of hypocrisy, claiming that it had been “put under pressure by the usual imperialists.”

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