World Bank Suspends New Loans to Uganda, Citing Concerns Over Anti-LGBTQ Law

World Bank Takes a Stand
World bank

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World Bank Takes a Stand

In a significant move, the World Bank has declared a suspension of new loans to Uganda due to the nation’s controversial anti-LGBTQ law. The institution, headquartered in Washington, DC, revealed its decision on Tuesday, stating that it would temporarily halt project funding as it assesses measures aimed at safeguarding sexual and gender minorities from discrimination and exclusion within its projects.

The World Bank underscored that Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act starkly contradicts the core values of the World Bank Group. The lender firmly believes in promoting inclusion and non-discrimination as central tenets of its global initiatives. The act’s opposition to these principles prompted the World Bank to express its strong disapproval, emphasizing its commitment to a vision of eradicating poverty while ensuring equal opportunities for all, regardless of race, gender, or sexuality.

“We firmly hold that achieving our mission of combating poverty on a sustainable planet is only possible through the integration of every individual, irrespective of their background. This legislation undermines these collective endeavors. Inclusion and non-discrimination lie at the heart of our global initiatives,” the lender conveyed in a statement.

Furthermore, the World Bank Group disclosed its intention to enhance third-party oversight and grievance redress mechanisms, thereby bolstering its capacity to take remedial actions when required.

In May, the World Bank Group had already expressed its reservations about the law, asserting that it diverges from the organization’s core principles. The adoption of the law raised substantial concerns, prompting World Bank President Ajay Banga, who commenced his tenure in June, to address the matter. Approximately 170 civil society groups advocated for tangible and prompt measures, including a suspension of future financial assistance.

The anti-LGBTQ law has encountered widespread criticism from human rights organizations. The legislation imposes severe penalties, including capital punishment for “aggravated homosexuality,” encompassing cases such as transmitting HIV through same-sex relations. Those found guilty of “promoting” homosexuality face imprisonment of up to 20 years.

Amid this decision, the World Bank Group reiterated its enduring and productive relationship with Uganda. The institution remains steadfast in its commitment to aiding all Ugandans in their pursuit of escaping poverty, accessing essential services, and enhancing their overall quality of life.