Do you know who is spending your tax dollars in Uganda?
No? Neither do a number of organizations that have sued the State Department for access to this information — and have received little data in return.
The international AIDS charity AVERT hosts a web page which diplomatically explains the complexity (aka unaccountability) of foreign-aid recipients to U.S. taxpayers.
At a very basic level, it is apparent that U.S. tax dollars are transferred — in amounts counted in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars — to “prime partners” who then reallocate (some might say, launder) the foreign aid to “subpartners.” Each new layer of aid-laundering reduces the accountability of that aid to its original purpose.
Uganda is one of the largest single African recipients of PEPFAR HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment aid.
In Uganda, according to AVERT, two of the leading “prime partners” are Catholic Relief Services (which steers Ugandans toward abstinence-only education and prevention) and the conservative Children’s AIDS Fund — formerly the Americans for a Sound AIDS/HIV Policy — which likewise denies Ugandans easy access to comprehensive education and prevention methods.
Uganda’s designated prime partners contract out their aid allocations to some reputable outfits — but they also hire the likes of Uganda’s Martin Ssempa and other “faith-based” antigay vigilante leaders that have used the aid to promote hate-based myths about LGBT Ugandans: Specifically, the myths that LGBT people are pedophiles, that they “recruit” heterosexuals, that they are lust-crazed and rapacious vagabonds, and that they are primarily responsible for HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Please contact your congressional representative and senators. Ask them to demand full transparency and accountability of foreign-aid prime partners and subpartners to national policy objectives. All partners should comply with U.S. and international protocols for human rights and individual liberty — including freedom from ethnic, religious, and sexual discrimination, and freedom from religion-based bias in partners’ offerings of education, services, and materials.
No recipient of federal aid should offer health care or advice that is officially discouraged or rejected by the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, or American Psychological Association.
If a recipient or sub-recipient of U.S. aid enforces religious principles that prevent it from providing comprehensive and non-sectarian education, prevention, and treatment to all, then its access to federal aid should be eliminated or tightly regulated.