Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has condemned the World Bank's decision to suspend new funding in response to the country's controversial anti-LGBTQ law. Museveni stated that Uganda would seek alternative sources of credit after the funding suspension.
In light of the funding halt, a junior finance minister revealed that Uganda would need to revise its budget to accommodate the potential repercussions of this move.
The institution asserted that this law contradicts its values, leading to the suspension of new funding until measures can be implemented to prevent discrimination in financed projects. Notably, the existing World Bank portfolio of $5.2 billion in Uganda remains unaffected by this suspension.
Despite facing widespread criticism from both local and international human rights organizations, as well as Western governments, the anti-LGBTQ law remains popular within Uganda.
Museveni, in a statement, emphasized that Uganda is focused on reducing borrowing and will not succumb to pressure from foreign entities. He criticized the World Bank and other actors for attempting to manipulate Uganda's cultural principles and sovereignty using financial means.
Museveni highlighted that if borrowing becomes necessary, Uganda has the option to explore alternative sources, including anticipated revenues from oil production slated to commence by 2025. The President expressed hope that the World Bank would reconsider its decision.
To address the financial ramifications of the funding suspension, the Ugandan government plans to submit a revised budget for the 2023-2024 fiscal year to parliament.
Junior finance minister Henry Musasizi informed lawmakers that the government would seek their approval for the adjusted budget within the coming weeks.
The anti-LGBTQ law has also prompted actions from other nations. In June, the United States imposed visa restrictions on certain Ugandan officials, and President Joe Biden initiated a review of U.S. aid to Uganda in response to the law's enactment.