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Uganda warns health will suffer as donors cut aid over anti-gay law

Uganda warns health will suffer as donors cut aid over anti-gay law

Uganda has announced MP expenses, as well as ‘other areas’, will be slashed as donors cut aid over anti-gay law.

Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has said the government will have to make reductions and cutbacks.

Gay rights activists in Uganda are largely opposed to cuts in aid, as they feel it could cause a violent backlash.

‘It will delay the improvement of service delivery in the health sector,’ Mbabazi told reporters.

‘We have to adjust to make sure that some of the priority areas are provided for,’ Mbabazi told a press conference in Kampala.

‘Some other areas will suffer, but that’s inevitable.’

Saying it was something he ‘would have loved to avoid’, the prime minister added: ‘But if [donors] unilaterally take a decision, what can we do? We have to march on.’

On 24 February, President Yoweri Museveni signed the anti-gay bill into law – one of the most draconic legislations in the world.

The Netherlands, Denmark and Norway announced they would be redirecting their aid packages.

The World Bank on Friday announced it was freezing $90 million ($65m) in loans, money allocated to support maternal health and to build new hospitals.

Around 20% of Uganda’s annual budget is from donor aid each year.

The government’s spokesman has shrugged off the aid cuts, including US President Barack Obama’s threat that the anti-gay law will ‘complicate’ Uganda’s relationship with the US.

‘The West can keep their “aid” to Uganda over homos, we shall still develop without it,’ Ofwono Opondo said.

Frank Mugisha, director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, has warned punishing the country with cutting aid could ‘create new victims’.

He said: ‘We should go after the crazy politicians! Not innocent Ugandans.’