Canada fears aid cuts to Tanzania over homophobia policies will hurt innocents

Tanzanian President John Magafuli’s crackdown on homosexuals has caused the European Union to withdraw its ambassador to Dar es Salaam and review its $88 million aid package to the East African country.

FILE: Tanzania's president John Magufuli. Picture: AFP

PRETORIA – Canada’s at the horns of a dilemma about joining other countries in cutting aid to Tanzania to express concern about President John Magafuli’s authoritarian and homophobic policies.

Ottawa’s International Development Minister says she’s afraid that taking such punitive action will hurt innocent people.

Tanzanian President John Magafuli’s crackdown on homosexuals has caused the European Union to withdraw its ambassador to Dar es Salaam and review its $88 million aid package to the East African country.

Denmark’s withholding $10 million from Tanzania and Washington has issued a travel advisory warning of homophobia there.

Canada’s aid minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says her country’s involvement in health and education projects in Tanzania, she believes, are making a difference.

A quarter of Canada’s aid to Tanzania goes directly to the government.

Most of the $90 million directed there this year is going to multilateral projects and non-governmental bodies.