World Bank Freezes funding to Uganda over LGBTQ+ law

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The world financial institution the World Bank has frozen all public funding to the government over the said controversial Anti-homosexuality law which was passed by the parliament of Uganda in May this year, 2023.

The World Bank statement reads;

“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.

The World Bank Group has a longstanding and productive relationship with Uganda; and we remain committed to helping all Ugandans without exception escape poverty, access vital services, and improve their lives.

Responding to the World Bank statement, Uganda’s state foreign affair minister Henry Okello Oryem termed the institute’s action as being hypocrisy. “Stop this hypocrisy,” he said. “The law was passed by Uganda Parliament; these are representatives of the people. That’s democracy.”

Mr. Oryem said the move by the World Bank was hypocritical. He accused the Western entities of being quick to lecture vulnerable countries about democracy, only to turn around and punish them when they do what doesn’t suit the interests of Western powers and allied institutions.

 

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