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

Western anger over the newly signed anti-homosexuality law in Uganda has triggered a sharp fall in Uganda’s shilling currency, leading the central bank to intervene for two days in a row.

By Melanie Nathan, February 27, 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 8.14.59 PMReuters is reporting that the World Bank has postponed a $90 million loan to Uganda’s health system over the Anti-homosexuality Bill which has toughened punishment for Uganda’s LGBT community, in what they describe as “an unusual move for an institution that typically avoids wading into politics.”

“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.

Reuters:

The World Bank, a poverty-fighting institution based in Washington, usually refrains from getting involved in countries’ internal politics or in issues such as gay rights to avoid antagonizing any of its 188 member countries.

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 obtained by Reuters. “Now is the right moment for this conversation.”

The bank still has a $1.56 billion portfolio of projects in Uganda, which it ranks as one of the world’s poorest countries.

The loan postponement follows the announcement by Norway and Denmark that they would hold back donations to Uganda because of the law. Other donors have also threatened to follow suit, and the United States said it was reviewing ties.

The United States is the World Bank’s biggest member.

Western anger over the anti-homosexuality law has triggered a sharp fall in Uganda’s shilling currency, leading the central bank to intervene for two days in a row.

The World Bank’s executive board had been set to approve the Ugandan health project on Thursday. The money was meant to supplement a 2010 health loan that focused on maternal health, newborn care and family planning. (Reporting by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

The fallout from the Anti-homosexuality Bill has only just begun. Tour operators are starting to reconsider their business in Uganda, Airlines are contemplating the hardship of discrimination to their employees, to whom they promise anti-discrimination environments. Richard Branson, from Virgin Airlines announced that he will not conclude a deal in Uganda.

While the hope of the international community is to force Uganda to revoke its new law, that is unlikely to happen for quite a while, and so while countries cut AID, and Banks refuse loans, and tour operators retract, we in the International community must support the local LGBT people. We must open our countries, and provide the mechanisms for reaching our shores.

SEE RESCUE FUND TO SAVE LGBT UGANDANS AND OTHERS http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/rescue-fund-to-help-lgbt-people-escape-africa/x/6400968

protectlgbt@gmail.com
Melanie Nathan

Richard Branson Calls for Boycotts to Uganda if Anti-Homosexuality Bill is Law

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“I would urge other companies worldwide to follow suit.” By Melanie Nathan, Dec 24, 2013, 8:41 am. Richard Branson, was about to do business with Uganda when he changed his mind.  The Virgin founder said Uganda must abandon the recently passed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which would make homosexuality punishable by up to life in prison.  Unless the […]

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“… We must be able to ensure the safety and comfort of all our guests regardless of sexual orientation.”” By Melanie Nathan, February, 2014. Many in the tourism industry consider the country of Uganda a jewel, often describing it as “the pearl of Africa.” Wildlife abounds and gorilla tracking is prime.  At Oblogdee we warned […]

U.S. Ambassador slams Ugandan Government for Anti-gay Bill

Horror at Red Pepper Tabloid for Inciting Death of Gays

By Melanie Nathan, February 26, 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 7.32.16 AMThe U.S. Ambassador to Uganda has in an interview with the BBC expressed a passionate condemnation of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality law.

Hear his interview below, where US ambassador to Uganda, Scott DeLisi, tells #BBCNewsday Uganda should repeal its new anti-gay law and notes  for the record, the United States will bar all haters from receiving visas to the United States, noting that those who promulgate hate and incite violence READ MORE


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