John M. Becker

Sweden Partially Cuts Uganda Aid Over Anti-LGBT Law

Filed By John M. Becker | March 05, 2014 12:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Anti-Homosexuality Bill, David Bahati, Denmark, foreign aid, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Uganda, World Bank

sweden-flag.jpgSweden is the latest country to partially cut aid to Uganda over that country's passage of a draconian anti-homosexuality law.

PinkNews reports:

Sweden cut 6.5 million kronor's worth of aid (£600,000) to Uganda's government over the Anti-Homosexuality Act, which was signed into law last week by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

Sebastian Tham, foreign ministry spokesman confirmed the cuts on Wednesday.

"The government reaffirms its strong condemnation of the Ugandan legislation that violates the fundamental rights of homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender people," Minister for International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engstroem said.

"Swedish aid is not unconditional. That's why the government has decided to withhold state-to-state payments," she went on. The country will still send aid to NGOs, and organisations not linked to the Government.

"We want to support homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender people in Uganda through Swedish aid via other channels," she continued.

The amount of aid cut by Sweden is 6.5 million kronors (kr), a sum equivalent to about $1.01 million. The Netherlands, Norway, and Denmark have all partially suspended or redirected aid money away from Uganda's government after it passed the Anti-Homosexuality Law, as has the World Bank.

The Ugandan government has now lost approximately $118 million in direct assistance as a result of its decision to persecute and prosecute its LGBT citizens. But David Bahati, the virulently homophobic lawmaker who first introduced the bill in 2009 and sought the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality," told Reuters that the cuts were a small price to pay:

"(The law) is very much worth it because it will protect our values. I think a society that has no moral values is a contradiction to development."


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