Members of Congress call for World Bank to suspend lending to Uganda

On July 25, 2023, Members of Congress, led by Rep. Joyce Beatty, sent a letter to World Bank President Ajay Banga calling for the Bank to suspend all lending to Uganda until Uganda repeals the recently passed Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA). The AHA expanded existing criminal penalties for homosexual acts and created new penalties for those providing social support to LGBTQI+ people. 

The law goes directly against the principles and requirements of the Bank’s Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) by prohibiting LGBTQI+ people from sharing in the benefits and opportunities of Bank-financed projects. Yet thus far, the World Bank’s only public response has been a tepid statement, with no concrete action.  

This new letter from Congress calls on the Bank to take a stronger position against this “egregious and unjust law” in order to enable disadvantaged and marginalized groups the opportunity to benefit from Bank funded projects. The letter argues that greater inclusion of sexual and gender minorities is beneficial for the economy as a whole and advantageous in opening new investment opportunities. 

Along with the Members of Congress signing on to the letter, BIC strongly urges the Bank to suspend all forms of financing, current and future, to the Government of Uganda until the law is repealed. 

Read the full letter sent to President Banga here