The second largest supplier of aid to Tanzania, Denmark, announced it will withhold $10 million worth of aid capital, due to human rights abuses and “unacceptable homophobic comments” made by a government official.
The decision came on the same day that the World Bank said that a $300 million loan to Tanzania had been scrapped due to the country reaffirming it’s policy which bans pregnant girls from school and recently made it a crime to question official statistics.
“I am very worried about the negative development in Tanzania, the latest being the completely unacceptable homophobic statements from a commissioner,” Minister for Development Cooperation Ulla Tornaes said on Twitter on Wednesday.
She continued: “I have therefore decided to withhold 65 million (crowns) for the country. Respect for human rights absolutely essential for DK (Denmark).”
65 million Danish crowns are the equivalent to €8.7 million and make up a large percentage of Denmark’s yearly foreign aid.
The homophobic comments mentioned by the Danish government were made by the administrative chief of Tanzania’s capital Dar es Salaam, Paul Makonda, a spokesperson for the Danish minister told Reuters.
Makonda told reporters that he has arranged a special task-force to conduct a country-wide purge of LGBT+ people. Makonda also encouraged Tanzanian people to report their LGBT+ relatives to authorities.
Similar calls have been made for the Irish government to withdraw aid to Tanzania following the purge of LGBT+ Tanzanians.
“We’ve had a positive development partnership with Tanzania for decades and still do, committing significant financial support to worthy projects annually. The targeting of (the) LGBT community is shocking and I’ve written to Govt. to outline my concerns.”
In 2017, the Irish government allocated an excess of €20 million for fighting poverty in Tanzania.
Reuters was not able to reach Tanzanian government officials for immediate comment.
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