John M. Becker

U.S. Partially Suspends Uganda Aid

Filed By John M. Becker | March 14, 2014 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: AIDS, Anti-Homosexuality Bill, CDC, foreign aid, foreign assistance, foreign policy, HIV/AIDS, U.S. assistance, Uganda, United States

obama-angry.jpgThe central African nation of Uganda has lost at least $118 million as a result of its enactment of a draconian anti-homosexuality law. As countries like the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, as well as the World Bank, have begun to partially suspend or redirect aid money away from the Ugandan government in response, many of us have asked whether the U.S. will make a similar move.

Today, we have an answer: Reuters reports that, in its "first concrete move" to respond to Uganda's "jail the gays" law, the U.S. government is suspending some aid to the country's ministry of health.

The U.S. had signaled it was reviewing its ties with the East African country after President Yoweri Museveni signed in legislation on February 24 that punishes gay sex with jail terms up to life.

"As a result of this review process, a portion of the U.S. Centre for Disease Control's (CDC) cooperative agreement with the Ministry of Health has been put on hold pending this review," a senior U.S. government official told Reuters on Thursday.

The U.S. official did not say how much aid was withheld but added the CDC had spent $3.9 million on a ministry of health program last year. Uganda's health ministry said it had been told it would no longer be able to access money from a fund used to buy antiretroviral drugs and HIV testing kits.

Total U.S. aid to Uganda in 2013 is estimated to have been approximately $723 million.

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