UK confirms no aid will go to Ugandan Government in wake of anti-gay law

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

PinkNews Exclusive.
Following the introduction of a Ugandan law which makes homosexuality punishable with life jail sentences, the British Government has confirmed that no aid goes directly to the Ugandan Government.

President Yoweri Museveni signed the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill in front of politicians and reporters on Monday at State House, his official residence in Entebbe.

The law calls for repeat offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in prison and makes it a criminal offence not to report someone for being gay.

The Department for International Development confirmed to PinkNews that the only aid money spent by Britain in Uganda goes to multilateral aid agencies and non-governmental organisations, rather than the Ugandan Government.

This means the aid money is spent on helping the people of Uganda without funding the country’s legal and political system.

A DfID spokesman: “We ended all budget support payments to the Ugandan government last year. The UK strongly opposes all discrimination on any grounds and Justine Greening has been clear that governments receiving UK aid need to meet a specific set of principles, including human rights.”

DfID confirmed that aid was cut to Uganda’s Government last year due to a corruption scandal, but reiterated that the human rights concerns raised by the Anti-Homosexuality Act would most likely deem it ineligible to receive aid.

Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands today became the first three countries to cut their aid to Uganda following the decision to sign the bill by Museveni.

The US Secretary of State John Kerry today said his country is now reviewing its relations with Uganda, following President Yoweri Museveni’s decision to sign anti-gay legislation.

Sweden has also said it will review its aid spending.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have called for an end to a political agreement with Uganda over the law.

EU foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton described the move as “draconian”.

Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said it was “an abhorrent backwards step for human rights”.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was “deeply saddened and disappointed”. 

A tabloid newspaper in Uganda today published a list of the “200 top” gay people.