By Pascal Kwesiga & Godiver Asege
US will continue to provide development aid to Uganda despite the enactment of the anti-homosexuality law by the latter, United States Agency for International Development has said.
Although US president Barrack Obama said the enactment of the law would complicate relations between the two countries, USAID has said that law will not compel America to cut aid to Uganda.
“I would like to make this very clear because there have been many wrong reports. We have not cut our assistance to Uganda’s most vulnerable,” USAID mission director in Uganda, Leslie Reed, said.
The Director of the USAID Mission in Uganda Leslie Reed (L) Enid Wamani (C) and TASO executive Director Dr. Christine Nabiryo during the TASO implemented project close-out meeting at Grand Imperial on July 22, 2014.
She explained that US will also continue funding HIV/AIDS treatment, care and prevention programs for all Ugandans regardless of their sexual orientations.
The enactment of the anti-gay law by Uganda in February was greeted with threats of aid cuts by western donors. Canada, Denmark and Netherlands said they were reviewing their relations with Uganda.
However, Lelsie said USAID has ceased funding to HIV/AIDS programs through the Inter religious council of Uganda (IRCU).
“Our partnership with IRCU is ending this month. But there are other partners we are working with,” she added. US fell out with IRCU for supporting the enactment of the anti-gay law.
The US first cut $7.5m to IRCU shortly after the enactment of the law in February. The money was being spent on prevention and care for HIV patients, orphans and other vulnerable people.
US had announced it would not withdraw an annual $2.3m aid to IRCU which was meant for ARVs. But America announced last month that it was withdrawing the $2.3m from IRCU.
IRCU said it would ask Christians to contribute to the funding of HIV/AIDS programs and denied USAID the use of their (IRCU) 19 health centers and 82 faith based organizations to provide the same services through other agencies.
“We are not using their (IRCU) structures but services to these people will continue through other structures,” Leslie said.
Leslie was speaking to New Vision on the sidelines of a ceremony marking the closure of a USAID funded HIV/AIDS project through The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) at Grand Imperial Hotel in Kampala yesterday.