News | Uganda

World Bank Suspends $90 Million Loan to Uganda Over Anti-Gay Law

Actions have consequences, and Uganda is finding that out, as the World Bank has postponed a $90 million loan to its health system over the recently passed anti-gay law, The Guardian reports:

Kim"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," World Bank spokesman David Theis said in an email.

It's an unusual move for the World Bank, which typically avoids politics:

World Bank president Jim Yong Kim, however, sent an email to bank staff saying the bank opposes discrimination, and would protect the safety of all employees.

He said passage of the Ugandan law was not an isolated incident, as 83 countries outlaw homosexuality and more than 100 discriminate against women.

"In the coming months, we will have a broad discussion about discrimination with staff, management, and our board on these issues," Kim said in the email. "Now is the right moment for this conversation."

According to The Guardian, the World Bank has a $1.56 billion portfolio of various projects in Uganda.

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  1. Extraordinary measures

    Posted by: Mike C. | Feb 27, 2014 9:15:17 PM

  2. People win more in The Lottery these days. Amazing how people must be punished to accept gays.

    Posted by: Jason | Feb 27, 2014 9:25:02 PM

  3. I'm conflicted on this. On one hand I want Musveni to see that he made an awful decision and I want to see him and the homophobes suffer, yet on the other hand this 90 million is much needed for Uganda's health system. But then again, we don't know exactly where that money goes, it could very likely go straight into the government's pockets. I suppose it's a case of a bad apple spoiling the whole bunch.

    Posted by: Babycakes | Feb 27, 2014 9:25:28 PM

  4. This is the right decision.

    Not only is Uganda explicitly ridiculing those who give it aid, and laughing about suspension (or termination) of that aid, but it is ALWAYS the right time to talk about encouraging equality.

    The Ugandan people put (2/3 of) these ass-hats in power. The Ugandan people can deal with the consequences.

    Posted by: Randy | Feb 27, 2014 9:33:32 PM

  5. "It's an unusual move for the World Bank, which typically avoids politics"

    There are objective reasons to redirect public health funds away from Uganda, so I doubt this is purely political. If the mission of the funds is to reverse the spread of HIV, then they may need to spend that money elsewhere, despite Uganda's epidemic. Ugandan gays are unlikely to seek testing or treatment when they risk outing and imprisonment for doing so. So Uganda has created a whole population where HIV can hide and continuously spread to the rest of the population. It may be impossible for money to reverse the spread of HIV in Uganda, given their situation.

    Posted by: JJ | Feb 27, 2014 9:36:17 PM

  6. The desire for other men is expensive. To hell with the rest of the country. What is really remarkable is how loved gays have become since 2007. Now we know what our price tag says. Where did all this compassion come from in such a short time? $90 million could buy a lot of discos.

    Posted by: Blake | Feb 27, 2014 9:38:50 PM

  7. I predict a riot or public backlash very soon in Uganda. Musveni better watch his back.

    Posted by: Babycakes | Feb 27, 2014 9:46:24 PM

  8. @Babycakes, no he is using this to unite Uganda, the people are all for it. That's why it is so important to have intervention.

    Posted by: Patrick | Feb 27, 2014 9:56:29 PM

  9. Can we expect more from the African legislators than we get from the Arizonan ones. While legislators should represent their peoples wishes, they do have a duty to understand the consequences of what they vote for. The Governor of Arizona was made aware of these consequences and used her veto. Musveni did not use his.

    Now will the people of Uganda including the gay ones suffer? If infant mortality rates rise, won't future gay people be among the victims? Gay Ugandans also need health care.

    I can't stand the idea of supporting the Ugandan Government, it's leaders, police and justice (?) system. Health care though is a basic human right (thank-you President Obama), and even in this case, I don't like using its funding as a form of retribution.

    Posted by: StevyD | Feb 27, 2014 10:07:07 PM

  10. PATRICK - They won't be so united when they're fighting over bread, water and medical supplies. When they see the big men in parliament are spending their money left and right and flying off to vacation in their private jets you better believe they hyenas are going to swarm and devour. It's going to become a wasteland.

    Posted by: Babycakes | Feb 27, 2014 10:11:04 PM

  11. Thank you World Bank. Now can you do something to punish Russia?

    Posted by: TheSeer | Feb 27, 2014 10:16:36 PM

  12. THESEER: Oh, we just have to punish everyone. I say dry hump them all!

    Posted by: Blake | Feb 27, 2014 10:47:54 PM

  13. @babycakes you're prolly right, sounds like a lose/lose.

    Posted by: Patrick | Feb 27, 2014 10:54:52 PM

  14. Bravo World Bank! They don't deserve your money if they are going to blatantly discriminate against an entire class of people. Now don't stop with Uganda.

    Posted by: SpaceCadet | Feb 27, 2014 10:58:13 PM

  15. They're counting on Putin. Huge difference in messaging for him to openly support what Uganda has done in criminalizing just being gay. Putin's entire rhetoric has been that their anti-propaganda laws were merely to protect the children. To side with Uganda/Nigeria/Gambia now stamps that entire argument as a lie.

    Musoveni was warned that they would be isolated from the international community and this is just one of it's many manifestations. It's early days yet. It'll get worse.

    There are non-government funded ways that assistance for health care can get through and those programs should be encouraged. Punishing children and not working to prevent the spread of HIV is not something anyone condones.

    Posted by: BOOM! | Feb 27, 2014 11:20:48 PM

  16. Note that the Bank has postponed the loan, not canceled it. The Bank does this all the time for a variety of reasons, but this is among the few times in its roughly 70 years that it's been so closely linked to a sovereign law. But the current heads of the Bank and the UN (both Asian men, coincidentally) have both been far more outspoken about gay right than all of their predecessors combined.

    Moreover, the Bank's promise to take up this issue in other loan packages and country strategies is great news---though there will be enormous backlash, and the president only has so much power given that votes about Bank operations are structured in a way that distributes such decisions pretty broadly among countries and regions. As someone who has worked there in various forms his entire adult life, I'll be curious to see how it unfolds.

    Posted by: Paul R | Feb 28, 2014 12:06:03 AM

  17. Civilisation: 1
    Uganda: 0

    Posted by: tristram | Feb 28, 2014 1:18:34 AM

  18. Totally justified move by the World Bank. The money is going to dry up SO fast for Uganda.

    Posted by: EricD. | Feb 28, 2014 2:00:01 AM

  19. Never thought I would want to give the World Bank a hug, but I do. That is a huge hit to Museveni. When Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands cut off aid of much smaller amounts, it sent Uganda's currency on a 2-day slide, prompting the country's central bank to intervene. And even after that intervention, it still lost 2% of its value in 2 days. Let's see what happens after this announcement hits.

    Posted by: Timmy | Feb 28, 2014 3:06:10 AM

  20. Our brothers and sisters in Uganda are now in danger of being murdered, beaten and jailed.

    The pogroms will begin soon. We should insist that the Obama regime offer asylum for all our brothers and sisters in Africa and elsewhere threatened by death, violence or being jailed and we should imitate that Obama and the DoJ advertise that policy as widely as possible.

    Cutting off humanitarian aid to Uganda is a retrogressive move that will punish poor farmers and working class Africans. It plays into the hands of the bigots who will use it to endanger our brothers and sisters there. On the other hand cutting off all military and police training to the bigot run government is a very progressive move. Edit. So are economic boycotts and ending trade and diplomatic relations if Ugandan LGBT groups agree.

    Regarding humanitarian aid lots of the money for humanitarian aid is already being funneled through NGOs. Adopting that as a general strategy will keep the money out of the hands of the bigot government.

    The antigay policies of the Ugandan government, because they're promoted by right wing thugs like leaders of the roman and anglo catholic cults and American bigots like Scott Lively, Jimmy Swaggart, Obama BF Rick Warren, Pat Robertson and Obama BF Donnie McClurkin, should have no access to funds or material associated with humanitarian aid. It should all be handled by UN and other trusted NGOs.

    Posted by: Bill Perdue | Feb 28, 2014 3:08:43 AM

  21. If , as Museveni says, Uganda can develop without western aid, then what the phuck have we been doing pouring money into this $h1thole for years ?

    Let them eat cake.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 28, 2014 3:57:59 AM

  22. @ PERDUE ;

    it is absurd to suggest that our fellow gays who are sick will now suffer.
    Quite the contrary; the HIV clinics are being used to compile the lists of 200 "homos Exposed" during the week on the front page of 'Red Pepper'.
    No gay who seeks medical help is safe from the hue and cry which has been raised by this ignorant bigot.
    The clinic staff are part of the visceral hatred whipped up by this corrupt regime.

    Stop ALL aid to Uganda now.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 28, 2014 4:26:22 AM

  23. Most of that money would probably be going to line the pockets of corrupt Ugandan government officials anyway. Good move.

    Posted by: Jack M | Feb 28, 2014 7:59:52 AM

  24. Money that should go into the health care system that helps the country's sick and infirm should be denied? No. This is wrong. Sanction the leaders not the ordinary.

    Posted by: Victor | Feb 28, 2014 8:14:25 AM

  25. victor, i respectfully disagree. the ordinary elected their leaders and they overwhelmingly support the barbaric law. they are complicit, they are not innocent bystanders.

    Posted by: jed | Feb 28, 2014 8:22:00 AM

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