Sweden announces aid cuts over Uganda anti-gay bill

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

Heather Saul
Thursday 06 March 2014 12:01
Demonstrators protest outside the Ugandan embassy, in central London, on December 10, 2009.
Demonstrators protest outside the Ugandan embassy, in central London, on December 10, 2009.

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

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