Will State Sponsored Homophobia Cost African Nations Foreign Aid?

Published: February 7, 2011

Last week Germany withheld half of the $33 million in foreign aid promised to Malawi because of the criminalisation of homosexuality and the restriction of press freedom. On the heels of Germany’s decision, the United States is refusing to sign over $350 million in foreign aid to Malawi without further talks about laws restricting "individual freedoms." The Global Fund recently rejected Malawi’s application for $560 million.


    German Government has reduced aid to Malawi following the latter’s decision to criminalise homosexuality and restrict press freedom.

    In a press release issued on February 1, the Berlin government, through its Development minister Dirk Niebel, said they have cut budget support to Malawi by half. Germany had pledged to give Malawi about $33 million this year.

    Mr Niebel wrote to Malawi’s Ministry of Finance expressing concern over press freedom and compliance with international human rights agreements.

    “Until these concerns have been resolved, half of the envisaged budget support payments to Malawi are to be withheld,” reads part of the press release.

    This was in response to the decision adopted by Malawi’s Parliament in November last year to make amendments to the country’s Penal Code which criminalises homosexuality and muzzles print press.

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