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.


  1. Babycakes says

    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.

  2. Randy says

    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.

  3. JJ says

    “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.

  4. Blake says

    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.

  5. StevyD says

    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.

  6. Babycakes says

    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.

  7. SpaceCadet says

    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.

  8. says

    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.

  9. Paul R says

    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.

  10. Timmy says

    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.

  11. Bill Perdue says

    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.

  12. JackFknTwist says

    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.

  13. JackFknTwist says

    @ 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.

  14. Victor says

    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.

  15. jed says

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

  16. Morgan Newton says

    Maybe their smart scientists can figure out ways to make healthcare in Uganda better. This jerk thinks his country doesn’t need western aid, I say take it all away and let him run his country without it. Maybe their strong religious faith will help them persevere.

  17. Liam says

    Victor: Its not just the leaders doing this. Museveni didn’t want to sign this law. He was forced to by wide popular demand. Huge crowds surrounded the legislature demanding that this law pass and crowds surrounded jails holding gay men demanding they be sent out to them to be hanged. This is the mob demanding all this, not just the leaders. The whole culture must be forcefully reminded that this is not okay. The US needs to cut off all aid the Uganda. Period. The US is the largest donor of bilateral AID to Uganda. If we cut it off it will hurt.

  18. Liam says

    And dont forget this all started when a group of fundamentalist preachers from the US went to Africa to talk about all the dangers of homosexuality. Didnt you know we were all evil and responsible for everything bad in the world? That we prey on children? That all good Africans must be on the lookout for the predatory gays in their midst?

  19. Cycledoc says

    I visited Uganda during the early days of the HIV epidemic around 1989-9. I met with ministry officials and one or two missionary doctors. I was dumbfounded that the missionary doctors would not treat HIV patients (AZT was coming) simply saying whatever happened was god’s will i.e. tough luck. They also resisted the notion that condoms would help prevent the disease in sexually active people. Their answer was to allow people to die and to provide incomplete disease prevention information. Ironically these are the people who came to essentially run the anti HIV program in Uganda during the Bush era and now apparently have the ear of the Ugandan politicians.

  20. jamal49 says

    Now, it’s time for the U.S. Justice Dept. to investigate the lobbying activities of white American evangelicals in Uganda, Nigeria and other African nations corrupted by white, American, evangelical ideology.

  21. Rowan says

    Tampa, the minute the selfish middle class Russians realise THEIR money is going to a black country?? THEN Putin will have a fight on his hands!

    I’m not even counting the poor who would just flip but because they live in a bubble, they have no clue what this means.

Leave A Reply