The Obama administration had previously said that they would take concrete steps in response to Uganda’s passage of a draconian law that calls for life imprisonment of gay citizens. They have now announced specific steps they’ll be taking:
The United States will immediately take several key actions involving U.S. funding in response to Uganda’s anti-gay law, multiple sources on and off of Capitol Hill told BuzzFeed.
Money will be shifted away from the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, a group that has publicly come out in support of the anti-gay law and has received millions of dollars in grants from the United States to help fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Some $2.3 million will continue to go to the IRCU to continue treatment for some 50,000 current patients, but an additional $6.4 million intended for the IRCU will go to other organizations.
Second, because the law makes “promoting homosexuality” illegal, a U.S. funded study to help identify populations at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS has been suspended. The study, which was going to be conducted by a Ugandan university and the Center for Disease Control, has been suspended out of fear that both staff and survey respondents could be put in danger.
Third, because any LGBT person or LGBT ally who now enters Uganda is at risk, money intended for tourism programs will be redirected.
“Therefore, approximately $3 million in funding designated for tourism and biodiversity promotion will be redirected to NGOs working on biodiversity protection,” Lalley said.
And finally, the Department of Defense had several events scheduled in the country later this spring and those will be moved to other locations. “Certain near-term invitational travel” for Ugandan military and police personnel has also been suspended or canceled.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni previously has suggested that his country doesn’t need financial aid from the West. We will see how that belief holds up now that the money is drying up.