Countries have started to withdraw aid to Uganda, a worrying problem which IRT’s Marijn heard about extensively during her recent visit there. This has stemmed from the growing unpopularity of President Museveni and the political decisions which are being made by the Ugandan government.
The main issue which donor countries face is the recently leaked UN report which states that the Ugandan government are supporting the M23, a rebel group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo which has led to half a million people being internally displaced. Ugandan officials deny this and as a result are threatening to withdraw peacekeeping troops from the DRC, the Central African Republic and Somalia unless the report is changed. Uganda has been at the forefront of international efforts to stop the Lord’s Resistance Army and al-Qaeda linked al Shabaab militants in Somalia, if they withdraw their troops the repercussions will be significant.
Another issue deterring countries from giving aid to Uganda is the anti- gay bill which will be passed by the end of the year. This will criminalize same sex relationships and those convicted will either face life imprisonment or death. Many countries have stated that if this bill is made legal they will withdraw aid from Uganda. In addition key donors such as Ireland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark have suspended aid to Uganda over alleged corruption in the office of the Prime Minister. Anti- corruption activists in Uganda have been protesting their dissatisfaction with how corruption within the government has been dealt with over the years.
It is important for pressure to be placed on governments to bring an end to corruption and the abuse of human rights, however it is the people of Uganda who will bear the brunt of these decisions. IRT are continuing to help the most vulnerable in Uganda by working with projects run on the ground, this way we feel that the money raised will go to the right places and have the greatest impact.