World Bank halts loans to Uganda over anti homosexuality law as Kampala denounces “coercion”

AFP , Thursday 10 Aug 2023

The World Bank is pausing approval for new public finance projects in Uganda over the country's adoption earlier this year of a bill criminalizing same-sex conduct.

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FILE - The World Bank building is seen on April 5, 2021, in Washington. AP

 

"Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act fundamentally contradicts the World Bank Group's values," the development lender said in a statement Tuesday, adding that "no new public financing," would be presented to the bank's board of directors for approval for the time being.

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday accused the World Bank of using money to try to "coerce" the government over its legislation.

Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023 contains provisions making "aggravated homosexuality" a capital offense and imposes penalties for consensual same-sex relations of up to life in prison.

At the end of July, several members of the US Congress called on World Bank President Ajay Banga to "immediately postpone and suspend all current and future lending to Uganda" until the law was struck down.

Following the passage of the bill, the US State Department updated its travel advisory, telling citizens to "reconsider travel to Uganda due to crime, terrorism, and anti-LGBTQI+ legislation."

 

 

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