Norway, Denmark and The Netherlands have become the first countries to either redirect aid away from the Ugandan Government or freeze aid.
The Netherlands froze $9.6 million in aid to Uganda’s legal system, saying that if Uganda’s courts were to enforce the country’s new harsh laws further criminalizing homosexuality then they did not want to assist that process.
Denmark and Norway have also said they both planned to redirect around $8.5 million in aid, to a combined total of $17 million, away from the Ugandan Government – with that money instead going to Non-Government Organizations and human rights groups in Uganda.
In November 2012:
The United Kingdom has with immediate effect suspended all its direct financial UK aid to Uganda over the massive theft of funds in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).
And this time last year Canada cut funding to evangelical organisations responsible for preaching homophobia and started financially backing human rights groups protesting the bill.
Although many Ugandan campaigners have urged against aid cuts, as they say the people of Uganda will suffer, the money was already being paid to a highly corrupt government, so it's questionable how much financial aid actually did reach desperate civilians at grassroots level.
It is also impossible to explain to hard-working citizens in countries with human rights legislation why their hard-earned money is being spent not on making the world a better place, but on supporting human rights abuses and policies that directly contravene their own laws.
Diplomacy has failed, cutting direct financial aid seems the only option left.
This is not the same as stopping aid work. NGOs that work to promote human rights in Uganda may still be funded, and receive even more money, which is being redirected to them instead of the government. It just means less money in the pockets of corrupt and ignorant politicians.