By Oriade Ayomide
The World Bank has postponed a $90m (£54m) loan to Uganda’s health system over its tough new anti-gay law.
Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni on Monday signed an anti-gay bill that strengthens already strict laws against homosexuals by imposing a life sentence for certain violations and making it a crime to not report anyone who breaks the law.
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. “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.
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 antagonising any of its 188 member countries.
Homosexuality is a taboo in almost all African countries and illegal in 37, including in Uganda where it has been a crime since British colonial rule.