The UK government has been found to be providing financial support to a staunchly homophobic religious group in Uganda, according to a report by the Institute for Journalism and Social Change (IJSC).

The organisation, known as the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU), and its leaders supported a proposed law that would criminalise any individuals identifying as LGBTQ+ in the African nation.

According to the report by IJSC that analysed data from the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), numerous links were discovered between anti-LGBTQ+ organisations in Uganda and international aid donors, including the UK, with the IRCU receiving UK aid as an “implementing partner” for a program aiming to promote an open society in Uganda.


Earlier this year, the IRCU and its members, including the Church of Uganda and several evangelical churches, expressed concern over the “growing spread of homosexuality” in Uganda and its impact on children.

Shortly after, the anti-homosexuality bill 2023 was introduced in the Ugandan parliament, expanding the country’s existing anti-gay legislation.

The UK’s Foreign Office has confirmed funding to the IRCU from 2021 until earlier this year, totalling £134,900 (over $274,000) as part of the Uganda – Open Society program.

However, the UK decided to stop funding the organisation in February following its support for the anti-homosexuality bill, which has faced international condemnation.

UN human rights chief Volker Türk described the Law as “probably among the worst of its kind in the world” and includes capital and life-imprisonment sentences for gay sex, up to 14 years for “attempted” homosexuality, 20 years for “recruitment, promotion, and funding” of same-sex “activities.”

Identifying as LGBTQ+ could also result in a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

The bill’s future is uncertain, as Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni declined to sign it into Law and requested further parliamentary review