The World Bank Group has suspended any further funding to Uganda over the latter’s passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Act.
In a statement, the World Bank said “Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act fundamentally contradicts the World Bank Group’s values.”
“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,” they said.
According to World Bank, immediately after the law was enacted, they deployed a team to Uganda to review their 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,” they said in a statement on Wednesday.
According to World Bank, no new public financing to Uganda will be presented to their 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 has a longstanding and productive relationship with Uganda; and we remain committed to helping all Ugandans—without exception—escape poverty, access vital services, and improve their lives,” they added.
On May 26, President Museveni signed into law the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, attracting backlash from the West and cheers from religious leaders.
The controversial law introduces strict penalties. including death for aggravated homosexuality, as well as imprisonment of up to 20 years for acts of homosexuality, promoting, child grooming and promotion of the vice.
The Anti-Homosexuality Act has since been challenged before the East African Court of Justice in Arusha, Tanzania.
Lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi, who filed the petition before the court’s sub registry in Kampala, said the law is against the treaty establishing the East African Community, which calls for adherence to principles of democracy, rule of law, accountability, transparency, and social justice.