Following Uganda’s controversial anti-gay bill being signed into law, both Norway and Denmark have decided to cut aid. Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson insists Iceland should not follow suit, reports Vísir.
President Museveni signed the bill into law on Monday and already yesterday leaders of Western countries were threatening to cut aid.
Yesterday Norway announced it would cut developmental aid by $8 million and Denmark vowed to cut $9 million of aid which was to be directed to the Ugandan government. John Kerry also announced that all dimensions of US engagement with Uganda would now be going under review.
Icelandic Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson is insisting Iceland should continue providing developmental aid to Uganda despite their stance on LGBT rights.
“We must tread carefully. Our developmental aid goes to agricultural communities or autonomous regions and I do not think we should abandon our projects there even though this [law] is extremely unfortunate.
“We will investigate whether we can’t somehow divert part of our funds to those fighting for human rights in Uganda as we have received enquiries about making such a move and we will review that [possibility] carefully,” Gunnar Bragi said.
Although homosexuality has long been criminalised in Uganda, the new anti-gay law dictates that gay sex is punishable with up to life in jail.
According to the Overseas Development Institute, Uganda has traditionally been one of the largest recipients of international aid. Last year Iceland gave 428 million ISK in developmental aid to Uganda.