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US cuts aid to religious council over anti-gay law

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By  PAUL TAJUBA & AL-MAHDI SSENKABIRWA

Posted  Friday, July 4  2014 at  01:00
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Kampala.
The fate of 165,000 people on ARVs, HIV care and education scholarships under the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda remains uncertain after US suspended all aid to the council in an expression of displeasure over the recently enacted Anti-Homosexuality law.

According to IRCU secretary general, Mr Joshua Kitakule, the US informed them last Thursday that it would cancel all aid that has been running 101 faith-based organisations spread across the country.

“We cannot really force them to give us aid. All the beneficiaries will definitely have to be affected until we get other partners …. and it is the responsibility of government to care for its people,” Mr Kitakule said in a telephone interview yesterday .

The suspension of aid to IRCU is a continuation of the adverse consequence of US’s ongoing review of relations with Uganda over the anti-gay law signed by President Museveni on February 24. IRCU is a grouping of religious denominations including, Uganda Episcopal Conference –representing the Catholic Church, Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, Church of Uganda, Uganda Orthodox Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Pentecostal Movement.

Mr Daniel Travis, the public relations officer at the US Kampala Mission, said in an email to the Daily Monitor on Wednesday they suspended in March part of its cooperation with IRCU and that both parties agreed to support 30,000 HIV-positive patients until the end of this year.

Scope of care
Since 2001, IRCU has been supporting faith -based organisations in the areas of HIV prevention, care and treatment, supporting orphans and vulnerable children. In 2010 alone, over 95,756 individuals received HIV counseling and testing.

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