Sweden announces aid cuts over Uganda anti-gay bill

The Foreign Ministry has said they will cut planned aid worth £715, 000

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The Independent Online

Sweden has announced it will immediately cut aid to Uganda in protest against the east African nation’s anti-gay bill.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Sebastian Tham said on Wednesday that Sweden will immediately cut planned aid worth 6.5 million kroner (£715,000) to the Uganda government, but will continue with other non-governmental programs.

In 2013, the total amount of Swedish aid to Uganda was £21 million.

"Swedish aid is not unconditional. The Government is therefore now choosing to suspend government-to-government payments still due under our current strategy for Uganda, with the exception of research cooperation," Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engstrom, said in a statement late on Wednesday.

Last week, Uganda remained defiant in the face of cuts when the bill's author David Bahati said the cuts were a small price to pay to protect the nation's moral values.

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni signed the anti-gay bill late last month, citing a report by Ugandan scientists, which said there is no proven genetic basis for homosexuality, as his reason for backing the bill.

Last week, Norway confirmed it will withdraw at least £4.7 million in aid to Uganda's government while Denmark announced it will restructure aid programs worth £5.1 million away from the Ugandan government and over to private actors and civic groups.

Additional reporting by Reuters