Uganda president defiant over World Bank funding

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STORY: Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni denounced on Thursday (August 10) the World Bank's decision to suspend new funding in response to a harsh anti-LGBTQ law.

The World Bank said the law, which imposes the death penalty for certain same-sex acts, contradicted its values and that it would pause new funding until it could test measures to prevent discrimination in projects it finances.

The anti-LGBTQ law, enacted in May, has drawn widespread denunciation from local and international rights organizations and Western governments, though it is popular domestically.

Museveni said in a statement Uganda was trying to reduce its borrowing in any case and would not give in to pressure from foreign institutions.

"It is, therefore, unfortunate that the World Bank and other actors dare to want to coerce us into abandoning our faith, culture, principles and sovereignty, using money. They really underestimate all Africans," he said.

The World Bank has an existing portfolio of $5.2 billion in Uganda, although these projects will not be affected.

Museveni also said that if Uganda needed to borrow, it could do so from other sources, and that oil production expected to start by 2025 would provide additional revenues.

He added he hoped the World Bank would reconsider its decision.