Tanzania Retains Homophobic Stance Despite Countries Cutting Aid

Denmark previously announced they would withdraw all funding while the EU is also reconsidering its position.

Finance Minister Philip Mpango speaks to the press about countries cutting aid

Due to the horrific treatment of its LGBT+ community, many countries announced they would be cutting aid to Tanzania. Its second largest donor, Denmark, stated it would withhold $10 million worth of aid capital, due to human rights abuses and “unacceptable homophobic comments” made by a government official.

The EU has also said it would reconsider its current position. Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign policy chief stated: “The EU and its member states are concerned about recent political developments in Tanzania. Respect for human rights and the rule of law has been repeatedly undermined. The EU is deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation for LGBTI persons.”

However it seems as though cutting aid to Tanzania has had no effect on its homophobic stance. Finance Minister Philip Mpango said that while donors wanted Tanzania to tolerate homosexuality as a condition for aid, “there is no way” the country could agree.

Mango continued cutting aid would mean Tanzania would now struggle to fund several multi-billion-dollar projects but the conditions attached were “intolerable”.

A few months ago, Irish Senator Fintan Warfield stated he did not believe cutting aid to Tanzania was the answer. In an opinion piece published by GCN, Senator Warfield wrote “The anti-LGBT+ laws in Tanzania are abhorrent and we must robustly challenge the government on their human rights abuses and their attacks on the LGBT+ community, but we must not collectively punish the Tanzanian people by stopping aid for the disgraceful policies of their government.”

The disturbing actions of Tanzanian authorities included Governor of Dar Es Salaam, Paul Makonda, stating he would conduct a country-wide purge of LGBT+ people and encouraged Tanzanian people to report their LGBT+ relatives to authorities – which resulted in over 5,000 people being reported. There have been hundreds of arrests, forced anal examinations of men in order to “prove” they are gay, and promises of forced conversion therapies.

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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