The World Bank has suspended fresh loans to Uganda as a result of the country’s passage of a strict law prohibiting same-sex relationships.
In May, President Yoweri Museveni approved an anti-LGBT bill that includes the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” and a 20-year prison sentence for “promoting” homosexuality.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the World Bank stated that the law “fundamentally contradicts the World Bank Group’s values,” stressing that its vision “includes everyone, regardless of race, gender, or sexuality.”
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. 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.
No new public financing to Uganda will be presented to our 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.