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World Bank suspends finance to Uganda over anti-LGBTQ law



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The World Bank has stopped the approval of new public finance projects in Uganda over the signing into law of a bill criminalising same-sex relationships in the country.

According to the World Bank, “Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act fundamentally contradicts the World Bank Group’s values”.

It further added that “no new public financing” would be presented to the bank’s board of directors for approval for the time being.

The decision comes in response to demands from human rights organisations and members of the US Congress to take a harsher stance with Kampala on the law, which is among the worst in the world.

Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023 contains provisions making “aggravated homosexuality” a capital offence and imposing penalties for consensual same-sex relations of up to life in prison.

“Our goal is to protect sexual and gender minorities from discrimination and exclusion in the projects we finance,” the World Bank said Tuesday, adding that it was in discussion with the Ugandan authorities over the issue.


At the end of July, several members of the US Congress called Ajay Banga, the president of the financial institution to “immediately postpone and suspend all current and future lending to Uganda” until the law was struck down.

Following the signing of the bill into law, the US State Department updated its travel advisory, telling citizens to “reconsider travel to Uganda due to crime, terrorism, and anti-LGBTQI+ legislation.”

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