World Bank suspends new loans to Uganda over anti-gay law  

The World Bank has said it will no longer consider new loans to Uganda over the adoption of a law that proscribes same-sex conduct.

The Ugandan government had earlier in the year passed a law against anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender practices in the country.

The law includes life imprisonment and a death sentence as penalties for anyone convicted.

The World Bank in a statement on condemned the law, saying it is not in line with the global development lender’s core values.

The statement read: “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.

“Immediately after the law was enacted, the World Bank deployed a team to Uganda to review our 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.

The statement disclosed that the World Bank goal is to protect sexual and gender minorities from discrimination and exclusion in the projects it finance, adding that these measures are currently under discussion with the authorities.

It further disclosed that no new public financing to Uganda will be presented to board of executive directors until the efficacy of the additional measures has been tested.

Also, third-party monitoring and grievance redress mechanisms will significantly increase, allowing the World Bank to take corrective action as necessary.

The World Bank Group, however, noted it still maintains a longstanding and productive relationship with Uganda despite the development.

“We remain committed to helping all Ugandans, without exception, escape poverty, access vital services, and improve their lives”, it added.

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