World Bank pulls $300m Tanzania loan over pregnant schoolgirl ban

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Source: The Guardian

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The World Bank has withdrawn a $300m (£232m) loan to Tanzania amid concerns about the nation’s policy of expelling pregnant girls from school.

The money, a significant proportion of funding totalling $500m awarded to Tanzania by the bank in 2018, was scheduled for approval last month. It was intended to help Tanzania’s education ministry to improve access to secondary education.

In a double blow for the country, the World Bank announcement came on the same day that Denmark, Tanzania’s second biggest donor, said it was withholding $10m (£7.7m) of aid funding due to unease over human rights abuses and “unacceptable homophobic comments” by a government official.

Tanzanian schools routinely expel girls who become pregnant, who are thought to number about 8,000 a year. The practice dates back several decades but has intensified since President John Magufuli took office in 2015. Some schools have imposed compulsory pregnancy tests on girls.

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