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UK To Cut Aid To Countries Which Persecute Gay People

Jim Burroway

October 10th, 2011

British Prime Minister David Cameron has warned that countries which persecute gay people will find their foreign aid budget cut. International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell also told the Daily Mail that Britain has already cut aid to Malawi over it abuse of human right violation, citing the country’s conviction of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, a same-sex couple who entered into a traditional engagement ceremony in violation of that nation’s anti-sodomy laws.

Mitchell’s comments however don’t quite line up with the chain of events in Malawi. The couple were pardoned by Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika in May, 2010. Earlier this year, a Wikileaks cable revealed that the British ambassador warned  that Malawi’s President was becoming increasingly autocratic and intolerant of criticism. Mutharika responded by expelling the ambassador while violently cracking down on dissent in the impoverished nation, thereby proving the ambassador’s point. Britain began cutting aid to Malawi in July 2011.

Malawi received about £200 million from Britain over the past three years, before Britain announced cuts of £19 million.

Mitchell also cited Uganda (which is due to received £70 million this year) and Ghana (which received £36 million each year) as possible targets for future cuts if they enact further criminal legislation against gay people. No mention was made of Zimbabwe, which received £69 million last year.



paul canning
October 10th, 2011 | LINK

Mitchell didn’t say that. It was, as you say, wider human rights concerns which led to aid cut. This was made clear at the time precisely because the Malawi government was blaming the gays.

Mail made it up but they have an explicit anti-foreign aid agenda – see their editorial yesterday.

Mark F.
October 10th, 2011 | LINK

Why not cut all foreign aid for these countries. Better yet, cut all tax financed foreign aid entirely to ALL countries.

October 10th, 2011 | LINK

White European guilt about the past.

I wasn’t there. I’m not responsible for anything any past Irish or German person did or didn’t do. Get on with the present and learn from history.

October 10th, 2011 | LINK

@ Paul Canning

Thanks for clearing that up…

These countries have signed international commitments to human rights, and they are not behaving responsibly.

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