The ten most corrupt countries in the world have received £2.7 billion of British aid since David Cameron became Prime Minister, official figures show.
During his premiership, the amount spent by the Department for International Development (DFID) in the nations ranked worst for corruption has jumped by 14 per cent.
Mr Cameron was caught on camera in Buckingham Palace on Tuesday describing Afghanistan and Nigeria as “spectacularly corrupt”. But this year, DFID will spend £145 million and £242 million in these two countries respectively.
In total, Afghanistan and Nigeria have received £2.3 billion of British aid since Mr Cameron entered Downing Street.
The Prime Minister will host a special anti-corruption summit in London on Thursday, joined by President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan. Mr Buhari has declined to ask for an apology for Mr Cameron’s remarks, demanding instead that Britain should help to track down stolen assets.
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, whose “spectacularly corrupt” country has received £1.3 billion of British aid since David Cameron took office.
Afghanistan, meanwhile, was ranked the third most corrupt country in the world by Transparency International in 2015.
But the most corrupt country of all was Somalia, where DFID plans to spend £82.7 million this year. DFID’s total expenditure in Somalia during Mr Cameron’s premiership comes to £583 million.
In all, the ten most corrupt nations – as ranked by Transparency International – will receive £421 million from DFID this year, bringing the amount spent on them since Mr Cameron became Prime Minister to £2.7 billion.
Nigeria does not count among the worst 10, coming in 31st place. The amount spent by DFID in Nigeria has risen by 34 per cent since 2011, Mr Cameron’s first full year in office. In all, DFID has invested £1.3 billion in Nigeria during his premiership.
DFID does not hand money directly to national governments in the most corrupt countries. Instead, British aid is channelled through aid agencies or spent directly on projects that should benefit the poorest people. Provided that aid money does not enter government coffers, experts say that it can improve lives even against a background of general corruption.
“If you’re not giving it to the government and you’re spending it on the ground with people you trust, then it can do good,” said Richard Dowden, the director of the Royal African Society. “The days when DFID would simply transfer money to African governments to spend as they like are almost over.”
Source: DailyTelegraphonline/DMonline/Transparency International