John M. Becker

World Bank Freezes Uganda Loan Over Anti-LGBT Law

Filed By John M. Becker | February 28, 2014 8:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Uganda, Uganda anti-gay law, World Bank, Yoweri Museveni

world-bank-logo.jpgThe World Bank put the brakes on a $90 million loan to Uganda for improvements to its health care system yesterday due to the recent signing of a barbaric Anti-Homosexuality Law by President Yoweri Museveni.

The Guardian reports:

"We have postponed the project for further review to ensure that the development objectives would not be adversely affected by the enactment of this new law," World Bank spokesman David Theis said in an email.

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni signed an anti-gay bill earlier this week that strengthens already strict laws against homosexuals by imposing a life sentence for certain violations and making it a crime to not report anyone who breaks the law.

The World Bank, a poverty-fighting institution based in Washington, usually refrains from getting involved in countries' internal politics or in issues such as gay rights to avoid antagonizing any of its 188 member countries.

World Bank president Jim Yong Kim, however, sent an email to bank staff saying the bank opposes discrimination, and would protect the safety of all employees.

And the bank apparently intends to critically reevaluate transactions with other states that practice discrimination against LGBTs and women:

He said passage of the Ugandan law was not an isolated incident, as 83 countries outlaw homosexuality and more than 100 discriminate against women.

"In the coming months, we will have a broad discussion about discrimination with staff, management, and our board on these issues," Kim said in the email. "Now is the right moment for this conversation."

The Netherlands, Norway, and Denmark have also suspended or redirected millions of dollars in aid to Uganda over the new law.

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