A general view shows the capital city of Kampala in Uganda. Picture: Reuters/James Akena

Johannesburg – Ugandan cabinet ministers have agreed to proceed with borrowing $40 million (about R500 million) from the World Bank (WB) to fight sexual abuse in the country following preconditions laid down by the monetary fund - but members of parliament still have to approve the move.

During a meeting with senior WB officials last year in the US capital Washington DC, the bank made the offer to a visiting Ugandan delegation after the delegation was castigated over Kampala’s failure to protect vulnerable groups, specifically women working at public infrastructure construction sites, Uganda’s Daily Monitor reported on Wednesday.

The Ugandan delegation traveled to Washington DC after the Bretton Woods Institution cancelled funding for construction of the 66-kilometre Fort Portal-Kamwenge road over, among other things, “serious allegations of road workers’ sexual relations with minor girls in the community and sexual harassment of female employees”.

The Ugandans were told to expedite a number of reforms before the WB would agree to provide the funding, including integrating social safeguards as a key yardstick in evaluating infrastructure projects which were previously approved largely on the basis of internal rate of return.

However, the agreement between the ministers will have to get the nod of approval from the members of Parliament before the loan will proceed.

According to ministers the government has no internal resources to bankroll the planned project to fight gender-based and sexual abuse.

African News Agency/ANA