March 3, 2024

Uganda kicks as World Bank stops new lending over anti-LGBTQ law

Ugandan officials slammed the World Bank and Western countries on Wednesday for ‘hypocrisy’ after the global lender froze finance for projects in the country, citing a violation of its values in Kampala’s new anti-homosexuality law.

The Ugandan State Minister for Foreign Affairs Henry Okello Oryem, accused Western organizations of lecturing developing countries about democracy only to penalize them when they do anything that is not in the interests of Western powers and related institutions.

There are many Middle East countries who do not tolerate homosexuals, they actually hang and execute homosexuals, in the United States of America many states have passed laws that are either against or restrict activities of homosexuality … so why pick on Uganda?” he said.

Following the passage of the disputed bill in May, the World Bank dispatched a fact-finding mission to Uganda to meet with government officials and others to verify accusations of LGBTQ+ discrimination.

The World Bank announced that it would suspend new lending to the Ugandan government after deciding that the country’s anti-LGBTQ law breaches the value of the bank.

“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,” the bank said in a statement, adding that such measures were now under discussion with Ugandan authorities.

“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,” the bank said.

“We remain committed to helping all Ugandans – without exception – escape poverty, access vital services, and improve their lives.”

By the end of 2022, the World Bank had provided $5.4 billion in International Development Association financing to Uganda, including various health and education projects that could be impacted by the new law.

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