The United Kingdom, UK, government is threatening to cut aid to Ghana and Uganda if the countries continue to persecute homosexuals.
The Department for International Development has said on Monday that it had raised objections to developments in Uganda and Ghana, months after it suspended £19m of general budget support to Malawi.
The UK’s International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell threatens to impose further aid ‘fines’ against Ghana and Uganda for hardline anti-gay and lesbian measures.
The policy was disclosed after Mr Cameron defended his decision to legalize gay weddings when he addressed last week’s Conservative Party conference. Cameron wants to persuade countries such as Ghana and Uganda where homosexuality is still a taboo to follow his lead – and he is ready to reduce aid to some of the world’s poorest people to do so.
Already the UK government has cut aid to Malawi by £19 million after two gay men were sentenced to 14 years hard labor.
During a visit to Ghana earlier this year, the publication said “Stephen O’Brien – Mr Mitchell’s deputy – told President John Evans Atta Mills that Britain would cut its aid unless he stopped persecuting gays.”
Due to this, the UK has decided to allocate funds to the country every three months instead of every year. The Daily Mail cited a spokesman for Mr Mitchell saying “The Government is committed to combating violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in all circumstances, in this country and abroad. We take action where we have concerns…We now allocate funds every three months, rather than every year, so that we can review a country’s performance, for example on human rights, and take swift action when governments fall short. We only provide aid directly to governments when we are satisfied that they share our commitments to reduce poverty and respect human rights.”
It is on record that President Mills has publicly condemned the act of homosexuality.
The Western Regional Minister Mr Paul Evans Aidoo called for the arrest of all homosexuals in the region.
Civil society groups such as the Ghana Christian Council and Muslim groups have also condemned the act.
The UK government has disclosed its intention to increase its development assistance to Ghana in the next four years (2011-2015) to an amount of £375 million, according to a fact-sheet made available to journalists during a Media Open Day at the British High Commission in Accra March 29, 2011.
The aid will be focused on education, economic growth, health and governance as well as other relevant sectors of the economy, said Sally Taylor, Department for International Development, DFID, Country Director.
The fact-sheet indicates that between 2011/2012, aid from UK to Ghana will be £85 million, 2012/2013 Ghana will receive £90 million and 2013-2014 it will receive £100 million.
Bilateral trade between the two countries was £579 million in 2010.
The UK government gives Ghana £36 million as support to the country’s budget.
Uganda received £116m in aid from Britain in 2010.