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Our internal policies bar discrimination - IMF

In the wake of Ghana's recent approval of the anti-LGBTQ+ Bill by Parliament, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has discreetly expressed its reservations, underscoring its commitment to policies that prohibit discrimination.

International Monetary Fund

The bill, sanctioned on February 28, 2024, criminalizes LGBTQ+ activities, including their promotion, advocacy, and funding, with potential jail terms ranging from six months to five years for those found guilty or involved in supporting such actions.

The contentious legislation has prompted criticism from various quarters, including the United States Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia Evelyn Palmer. However, the IMF has now entered the discourse, issuing a statement that emphasizes its internal policies against discrimination and a keen monitoring of the evolving situation in Ghana.

Despite Ghana's economic downturn and its pursuit of an IMF bailout, the recent passage of the anti-LGBTQ+ legislation has introduced uncertainty regarding the disbursement of the anticipated third tranche. The first and second tranches had previously been credited to the Bank of Ghana's account.

In a statement shared with Bloomberg, the IMF affirmed its commitment to values of diversity and inclusion, stressing its internal policies that expressly prohibit discrimination based on personal characteristics, including gender, gender expression, and sexual orientation.

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The statement further emphasized that diverse and inclusive economies are conducive to flourishing societies and institutions.

“Diversity and inclusion are values that the IMF embraces. Our internal policies prohibit discrimination based on personal characteristics, including but not limited to gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Like institutions, diverse and inclusive economies flourish.”

Notably, Ghana's President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is yet to assent to the bill, adding an element of anticipation and potential influence on its final implementation.

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