Britain gave more than £1 billion to some of the world’s most corrupt countries in 2013, possibly even helping fund extremism, despite numerous warnings that the money was being misspent.
Anti-corruption group Transparency International says that all but 20 of the worst countries in the world for corruption received money from Britain, with figures revealing that British aid to these countries increased by almost 25 percent in 2013 as the government tried to keep up with its controversial target to give 0.7 percent of GDP in aid.
The Daily Mail reports that the countries which have received the most UK money include Somalia and South Sudan whose central governments remain unable to control vast swathes of their own territory. In Somalia, terror groups are also reported to extort large amounts of aid money through ‘taxes’, leading to fears that Britain is inadvertently funding extremism.
Even North Korea, with its oppressive communist regime, received money from the British government.
Although much of the money to corrupt nations is channelled through aid agencies rather than central governments, many of these groups end up being forced to hand over at least part of it. In Somalia, it often ends up in the hands of the Al-Shabaab terror group.
Conservative MP Philip Davies said that giving aid to these countries was a “colossal waste of money”, warning that voters may not tolerate their taxes being spent on corrupt foreign regimes.
“It is completely unacceptable. We should not be giving money to countries who have not got their houses in order.
“This is exactly why you hear people saying that foreign aid is taking money from poor people in rich countries and giving it to rich people in poor countries – you might as well stick a Mercedes catalogue in the envelope.”
Andy Silvester of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “Every penny of foreign aid has to be spent on those who really need it, not to line the pockets of corrupt officials in questionable regimes. It’s simply mind-boggling that we’re dishing out aid to countries like North Korea when our own finances are in such a terrible state.”