image sourceEPAimage captionTens of thousands of refugees are expected to leave Afghanistan following the Taliban's rapid takeover

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will visit Pakistan later as part of efforts to secure safe passage for Britons and others trying to leave Afghanistan.

Mr Raab will meet his Pakistani counterpart and other senior leaders on the latest leg of his regional tour.

It comes as the UK announced £30m in aid to Afghanistan's neighbours.

The funding will help provide shelter and sanitation for the tens of thousands of refugees expected to flee the Taliban regime.

In his first visit to Pakistan as foreign secretary, which is due to last two days, Mr Raab will meet the country's foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, as well as other senior civilian and military figures.

They are expected to discuss how to encourage the Taliban to allow safe passage for refugees and prevent Afghanistan becoming a hub for terrorist groups.

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Pakistan, which shares a border with Afghanistan, is a key player in the crisis and already hosts about three million Afghan refugees.

The Foreign Office has already sent officials to help process those crossing the border.

But Mr Raab has been criticised by MPs for not focusing more on the country.

This week, he has been visiting the region to build a coalition with neighbouring countries to "exert the maximum moderating influence" on the Taliban.

After talks with leaders in Qatar on Thursday, the foreign secretary said evacuations may be able to resume from Kabul airport "in the near future".

The Afghan capital's airport is out of action following the withdrawal of US troops last week.

And on Thursday evening he said he had spoken to Tajikistan foreign minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin about "how our countries can help maintain stability in the region, and tackle the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan".

image sourceDowning Streetimage captionDominic Raab visited Doha in Qatar on Thursday

Of the £30m in aid offered to neighbouring countries, Mr Raab said £10m would be made available immediately to humanitarian organisations in order to despatch supplies to Afghanistan's borders.

Countries predicted to experience a significant increase in refugees will also receive £20m to help with processing new arrivals and to provide essential services and supplies.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has estimated a worst-case scenario of more than 500,000 refugees fleeing Afghanistan to Pakistan, Tajikistan, Iran, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in the coming months.

Mr Raab said: "It is vital that we help those fleeing Afghanistan and do not allow the crisis there to undermine regional stability."

He added that the aid showed the UK's "commitment to shoulder our humanitarian responsibility".

image sourceReutersimage captionAfghan refugees are expected to travel to countries including Pakistan

More than 17,000 people have been evacuated by the UK from Afghanistan so far, including more than 5,000 British nationals, Mr Raab has said.

The last British plane flying people out of Kabul took off on Saturday, as the remaining foreign troops withdrew from the country.

It is feared thousands of people eligible for relocation, including Afghans who worked for the British and their families, have been left behind.

Mr Raab has estimated the number of UK nationals still in the country is in the "low hundreds" but he was unable to give a precise figure of the number of eligible Afghans who were unable to get on evacuation flights.

Last month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an increase in aid to Afghanistan to £286m, amid a policy to cut spending on overseas assistance.

The UK sent £290m of aid to Afghanistan in 2019, according to a briefing from the House of Commons Library, and the government pledged £155m in aid for 2021 at the Afghanistan Conference in November 2020.