Will the World Bank suspend aid to Uganda?

Mothers and pregnant women attending a World Bank-supported health education session in Uganda. The World Bank is reviewing its assistance to Uganda in light of ongoing investigations into alleged misappropriations of aid funds in the country. Photo by: Arne Hoel / World Bank / CC BY-NC-ND

The World Bank is reviewing its assistance to Uganda in light of ongoing investigations into alleged misappropriations of aid funds in the country.

It is unclear whether the review will result into a reduction or suspension of aid, but it could add to growing challenges faced by Uganda’s government, which has already lost assistance from the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands and Ireland.

The four European donors suspended direct payments to the Ugandan government after the country’s auditor general uncovered alleged corruption involving €12 million ($15.6 million) worth of aid intended for the reconstruction of northern Uganda.

In a statement released Nov. 14, the World Bank expressed concern over the corruption allegations and has called for “remedial action.”

“The recent allegations indicate that the overall fiduciary environment in Uganda needs to be strengthened to ensure better management of public resources,” the bank said. “The World Bank will continue to work with the Government of Uganda and other development partners to help the country deliver on its national policy of ‘zero’ tolerance for corruption.”

In addition to the review of development assistance, the bank said it is also strengthening its “own measures to ensure its funds are used for their intended purpose.”

Uganda received some $235 million in loans from the World Bank in 2012, $345 million in 2011 and $457.6 million in 2010. The bank’s priority sectors in the country are inclusive and sustainable economic growth, public infrastructure, human capital development and governance. 

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.