World Bank urged to ensure no LGBT discrimination before issuing £54m loan to Uganda

Joseph McCormick September 24, 2014
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The World Bank has been warned against proceeding with a $90 million (£54 million) loan to Uganda without taking steps to ensure gay people and women are not discriminated against.

A letter sent to World Bank President Jim Kim from 16 human rights organisations today, urged enforcable steps to be taken to end discrimination in care for marginalised groups.

The World Bank originally postponed the £54m loan to Uganda over a new anti-gay law, back in February.

It was the largest financial penalty to be handed to the country after the law, signed by President Yoweri Musveni, went into force.

Despite that the law was found unconstitutional on 1 August due to procedural issues, the letter said “discrimination is alive and well in health services for many groups including LGBTI people.”

Moses Kimbugwe, program director at Spectrum Uganda said: “It is vitally important for the World Bank to work with the government of Uganda to get serious about fighting discrimination – starting with clear conditions attached to this $90 million health loan.”

The letter read: “Six months after your decision to delay the health sector loan, we remain concerned that there are still not sufficient safeguards in place to prevent discrimination in health service provision for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) patients, or for women, among other groups in Uganda.”

The loan is intended to strengthen the healthcare sector in Uganda.

The author of Uganda’s anti-gay law has given notice that he will reintroduce a revised version during this parliamentary session, after the country’s Constitutional Court struck down the original Anti-Homosexuality Act last month.

The new version of the law is likely to tackle the “promotion” of homosexuality, after President Yoweri Museveni reportedly asked for an amendment to avoid targeting “consenting homosexuals”.

More: Africa, anti-gay law, Law, Uganda, Uganda, World Bank, yoweri museveni

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