Tanzania loses Denmark aid over rights concerns, ‘homophobic comments’

/ Source: Reuters

COPENHAGEN — Tanzania’s second-biggest donor Denmark said it would withhold $10 million worth of aid money, citing concerns over human rights abuses and “unacceptable homophobic comments” made by a government official.

The decision came on the same day that the World Bank said it had scrapped a plan to loan Tanzania $300 million after the country reaffirmed its policy of banning pregnant girls from school and recently made it a crime to question official statistics.

Ulla Tornaes speaks onstage during the 2018 Global Citizen Festival: Be The Generation in Central Park on Sept. 29, 2018.
Ulla Tornaes speaks onstage during the 2018 Global Citizen Festival: Be The Generation in Central Park on Sept. 29, 2018.Theo Wargo / Getty Images for Global Citizen file

“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.

Denmark will now withhold 65 million Danish crowns ($9.88 million) in aid to Tanzania, she added. Denmark provided 349 million crowns in foreign aid last year.

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