World Bank to halt new financing to Uganda over anti-gay law



The World Bank says it is halting new financing to Uganda over the adoption of a law that criminalises same-sex relationships.


Earlier this year, the Ugandan government passed an anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) law.


The law includes penalties such as life imprisonment and death.


In a statement on Tuesday, the World Bank said the law contradicts the bank’s values as it seeks to protect gender and sexual minorities from exclusion in the projects it funds.


 “Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act fundamentally contradicts the World Bank Group’s values,” the Bretton Woods institution said.


“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, despite its position on the new law, said it still maintains a longstanding and productive relationship with Uganda.


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

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