What you need to know:
- The announcement comes a day after President Museveni said the country would not criminalise a person for being a homosexual or bar them from accessing health care. It also follows a meeting the President had with the US Ambassador Natalie Brown.
The US Embassy in Kampala has said that Ugandan organisations can now apply for small grants to combat HIV/AIDS.
The announcement comes a day after President Museveni said the country would not criminalise a person for being a homosexual or bar them from accessing health care. It also follows a meeting the President had with the US Ambassador Natalie Brown.
The grants, information from the website of the Embassy shows, are given through the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR). They range from $15,000 (Shs55.5m) to $310,000 (Shs1.1b). PEPFAR is a historic global program to provide treatment, prevention, and care for people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS, giving Uganda around 400 million dollars (over Shs1.4 trillion) annually.
PEPFAR focuses on care and treatment, prevention, impact mitigation, and health systems strengthening.
The targeted beneficiaries for the small grants include; Adolescents Girls and Young Women (AGYW), Faith-Based Communities, Key Populations (KPs), Men and Young Males (MYMs), and Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs). Other beneficiaries include; People Living with HIV (PLHIV), People with Disabilities (PWDs).
“The Small Grants Office welcomes applications from registered non-profit Ugandan organizations such as Community Based Organizations (CBO), Faith Based Organizations (FBO), or Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO),” the information from the website reads.
During the State of the Nation Address on Wednesday, the President said: “Our meeting with some doctors led us to conclude that it [homosexuality] is due to psychological disorientation. This conclusion gave us a way forward, if someone is a victim, is it right to punish them? No, they need help.”
“The law now says a homosexual will not be criminalized if he/she keeps his/her being to himself but will be arrested if he goes and recruits others into it. If he goes and rapes a child or indigent, it’s a capital offence and that person faces imprisonment. Merely being [homosexual] is your personal problem but promoting and raping is criminal and will lead you to be imprisoned and a death sentence respectively,” he added.
However, some activists said the law criminalizes one for being a homosexual. “Would be helpful if he (President Museveni) read laws before he signed them,” says Maria Burnett, a human rights lawyer at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.