Pressure grows on Uganda to repay donors

Ugandan Prime Minister Patrick Amama Mbabazi. Photo by: Simon Maian / European Union

Donors are amping up efforts to recoup millions in aid dollars that the Ugandan government allegedly misused.

Early this month, the Ugandan government gave back €4 million ($5.4 million) to Ireland. The funds form part of the €12 million the country’s auditor-general said was deposited in unauthorized accounts of the office of Prime Minister Patrick Amama Mbabazi rather than spent on rebuilding efforts in northern Uganda.

Now, Denmark, Norway and Sweden are pushing to get their money back, too.

Norway and Denmark have already received assurances that they will be repaid (€3.1 million to Norway and €1.3 million to Denmark). Sweden, meanwhile, is negotiating with Ugandan authorities about the return of €5.2 million.

The scandal has led to the suspension of aid from several European donors. So far, there’s no word when they will resume their development cooperation with the African country, despite the latter’s commitment to refund the alleged stolen aid.

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    Eliza Villarino

    Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.