Ministers will axe overseas aid to nearly 20 Third World nations this week following growing anger at the amount of taxpayers' cash sent abroad.

Angola, Gambia and Niger are among African countries understood to be losing the hand-outs.

Bosnia, Kosovo and former Soviet Republics Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are also thought to be among those being struck off the aid list.

The move is part of an overhaul of Britain's entire overseas aid budget by the coalition Government, with ministers targeting cash where it is most needed.

But despite the cuts, the overall foreign aid budget is still on course to rise from £7billion this year to around £11billion in 2015.

The Department for International Development is one of the few Whitehall departments protected from spending cuts.

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said: "Britain will now be much tougher in the way it delivers aid, ensuring it reaches more people in the poorest parts of the world and provides maximum value. That's why I am introducing 'payment-by-results' pilots - paying cash on delivery and handing over the money only when actual results have been achieved."

Andrew Mitchell provoked anger last week by announcing a further £1billion in aid to India

Mr Mitchell provoked anger last week by announcing a further £1billion in aid to India over four years despite that country's rapid economic expansion.

Tory Backbench MP Philip Davies said after the announcement: "It is completely unacceptable to be giving aid to a country that can afford to spend vast amounts on nuclear weapons and a space programme.

"India's economy is growing at a rate that we can only dream of. It is quite extraordinary to be giving aid money to a country that could end up lending it back to us.

"Aid should be spent on the poorest countries that have no economic growth."

Under the shake-up, nations receiving aid will be cut from 43 to just over 20.

Mr Mitchell has already announced aid programmes will be scrapped in Russia, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Serbia and Moldova.

Some countries, including Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, will receive much more cash as a result of the overhaul. The Government will hope cash-on-delivery pilots will stop misappropriation of funds.

The Ethiopian schools will get their money, the Department says, only once exam results have been independently verified. If the pilot is successful, it will be rolled out in other countries.

A Department spokeswoman said: "All UK aid programmes are under review to ensure they deliver maximum value for money for the taxpayer."