The U.S. Agency for International Development and other bilateral donors announced last week a new commitment to infuse lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex rights into their development agendas.
The move, however, left some activists and civil society leaders to wonder: Where does the world’s largest multilateral donor stand on LGBTI rights?
The World Bank and its president, Jim Yong Kim, have taken a more subtle and less direct approach to LGBTI issues, navigating political pressures and ethical concerns against the backdrop of a mandate which bars the institution from meddling in the political affairs of member countries.
The Washington, D.C.-based institution’s 1944 Articles of Agreement state that the bank “shall make arrangements to ensure that the proceeds of any loan are used only for the purposes for which the loan was granted … without regard to political or other noneconomic influences or considerations.”
Engaging in LGBTI rights — and human rights more generally — is therefore a tricky issue for the World Bank, whose…