Uganda: World Bank’s Action Puts Refugees at Risk

World Bank‘s decision to suspend Uganda’s financial aid is worrying considering the high number of refugees and other vulnerable groups in the East African country.

Development Diaries reports that World Bank, in a statement, said funding is being frozen until authorities in Uganda provide adequate policy protecting minorities, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other groups categorised as LGBTQ+.

According to the bank, the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Act undermines the organisation’s efforts aimed at ensuring an inclusive intervention to humanitarian issues.

Earlier in May 2023, President Yoweri Museveni signed into law the Anti-Homosexuality Act, providing penalties as high as a death sentence for ‘aggravated homosexuality’, drawing condemnations from rights groups and sanctions from Western countries.

But World Bank’s freezing of the funding for projects in the country puts as much as 1.3 million refugees at risk given that Uganda hosts refugees from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi and Somalia.

These refugees already face food insecurity, malnutrition, and limited access to safe sanitation, livelihood opportunities and health care.

Development Diaries, therefore, calls on the bank to reconsider its decision and continue its support for life-saving projects across the country as we believe a tangible solution can be reached upon engaging the government further in dialogue.

Photo source: EUCPHA


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