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NewsWorld Bank suspends new funding to Uganda over anti-homosexuality law

World Bank suspends new funding to Uganda over anti-homosexuality law

The World Bank has suspended new public financing to Uganda in response to the country’s controversial Anti-Homosexuality Act. In a statement released on August 8, 2023, the World Bank said “the new law fundamentally contradicts its values of inclusion and non-discrimination.”

The 2023 Uganda’s Act criminalizes homosexual acts and imposes harsh penalties including life imprisonment for repeat offenders. However, it has received widespread criticism from Western donors.

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni signed a bill in May 2023 criminalizing same sex conduct, including potentially the death penalty for those convicted of “aggravated homosexuality,” into law.

After the law was enacted, the World Bank deployed a team to Uganda to review its existing projects. It found additional measures were needed to ensure projects comply with its environmental and social standards that aim to protect vulnerable groups from discrimination.

The bank said these additional safeguards are currently being discussed with Ugandan authorities. However, no new public financing will be presented to the World Bank’s board for approval until the effectiveness of the measures has been tested on existing projects.

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“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,” the bank said.

The bank added it will also significantly ramp up “third-party monitoring and grievance mechanisms to allow corrective actions if projects are found discriminating against sexual or gender minorities.”

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