The UK dished out the money via the Department for International Development, a rise on the £1.26bn donated two years ago.

The government department says it operates a “zero tolerance” stance against corruption over fears the money could be either stolen or misused or even handed over to terrorists.

The Government is committed to spending 0.7 per cent of national income on foreign aid – equivalent to a sizeable £13.4bn last year.

Conservative MP Peter Bone said: “Whatever you think about the overall aid budget there is no point simply pouring in more money if it’s going to be stolen.

“Why would you be giving more money to corrupt countries where there’s every chance it will end up in the Swiss bank accounts of dictators? 

“These are some of the worst regimes in the world and I think people will be shocked we are giving them so much money and even more shocked that it is still going up. 

“We should not be doing the 0.7 target – it encourages officials to just dole out money as fast as they can. My constituents want money spent on local problems.”

A list of the most corrupt nations has been drawn up by the think-tank Transparency International.

Analysis done by the Daily Mail shows that Britain sends some its foreign aid budget to 18 of the 20 most corrupt countries.

Somalia received £151 million in 2016 from the UK while Syria gained £351m – there is documented cases where Western aid money has fallen into the hands of terrorist groups.

Earlier this month, the Government was forced to suspend a £12m aid scheme to Syria amid revelations that the cash was at risk of going to jihadi groups.

A BBC Panorama investigation found that the Syrian branch of Al Qaeda had handpicked police officers benefiting from the justice and community security scheme.

Aid money sent to Somalia is also at risk of being used by terror groups such as Al Shabab.

An internal Dfid “risk register” concluded last year there was a “certain” chance of funds being diverted by extremist groups.

Pakistan, another country where corruption is said to be rife but not one of the 20 most corrupt states, benefited from the UK’s generosity to the tune of £462.6m.

Afghanistan, said to be the eighth most corrupt nation according to the list received £235m in 2016 from the UK.

Fifth on the list, Yemen, received £126m. The Democratic Republic of Congo gained £129m.

A Dfid spokesman stressed that officials did not give money directly to the worst regimes, instead dealing directly with groups operating in the countries.

“Dfid does not provide financial aid directly to the governments of any of these countries,’ he added.

“UK aid goes to trusted partners to save babies’ lives, prevent famine and get children into school, and Dfid has tough measures in place to protect taxpayers’ money.

“By working in the most fragile and dangerous parts of the world, Dfid’s work makes us safer in the UK by tackling problems at source which would otherwise arrive on our doorstep.”

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