World Bank postpones a £54m Uganda loan over anti-Homosexuality law
The World Bank has postponed a $90m (£54m) loan to Uganda over the anti-Homosexuality law that has drawn criticism from around the world. The World Bank officials said they wanted to guarantee the projects the loan was destined to support were not going to be adversely affected by the new law.
The loan which was intended to boost Uganda’s health services was supposed to have been approved yesterday to supplement a 2010 loan that focused on maternal health, newborn care and family planning.
The new law, enacted on Monday, strengthens already strict legislation relating to homosexuals in the country.It allows life imprisonment as the penalty for acts of “aggravated homosexuality” and also criminalises the “promotion” of homosexuality”.
The law has been sharply criticised by the West, with donors such as Denmark and Norway saying they would redirect aid away from the government to aid agencies.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has called the law “atrocious”. Both he and South African Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu compared it to anti-Semitic laws in Nazi Germany or apartheid South Africa.
A spokesman for the World Bank said: “We have postponed the project for further review to ensure that the development objectives would not be adversely affected by the enactment of this new law.”
The World Bank’s action is the largest financial penalty incurred on the Ugandan authorities since the law went into force on Monday.