£2.8 million for refugee projects.
Work to help refugees settle in Scotland will benefit from £2.8 million of funding.
The New Scots Refugee Integration Delivery Project will offer small, medium or large grants to organisations to either widen existing work, or start new initiatives which assist those who have had to flee their own country to escape war and terror.
This is part of the New Scots refugee integration strategy (2018-22) which aims to ensure refugees live in safe and welcoming communities that enable them to rebuild their lives from the day they arrive in Scotland.
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:
“Scotland has a long history of welcoming people of all nationalities and faiths, including those seeking refuge and asylum from war and terror elsewhere. And we want to ensure people are treated with dignity and respect as they settle into new lives here.
“The key principle of the distinctive approach of the New Scots strategy is to support refugees and asylum seekers from day one of arrival. We are committed to supporting their integration into our communities and confident that Scotland will benefit from their presence as they share their culture, build businesses, work in our public services, volunteer their skills and form friendships.”
Professor Alison Phipps, UNESCO Chair at the University of Glasgow and the New Scots Core Group Chair, said:
“Good integration is not camps, it’s not aid, it’s people living in flourishing communities where everyone can contribute and everyone feels their own social and cultural security is held by frameworks of human rights and by human connections.
“The New Scots Refugee Integration Strategy is rightly praised internationally. This funding will support the efforts of many volunteers and organisations who work tirelessly to ensure mutual, flourishing integration for all.”
The project is led by the Scottish Government in partnership with COSLA, the Scottish Refugee Council and the UNESCO Chair at the University of Glasgow, and will promote employability, education, health and social and cultural connections for refugees.
Applications are invited from organisations working to support the integration of refugees across Scotland, as long as they meet the priorities of the New Scots strategy and its themes, either by expanding existing good practice or developing new and innovative ways to help refugees and asylum seekers.
Scotland responded to the humanitarian crisis, enabling refugees to quickly be resettled, following the announcement of the UK Syrian Refugee Resettlement programme in October 2015. Over 3,500 refugees went to communities across all 32 of Scotland’s local authorities since 2015 under the Syrian programme and the Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme.
The Scottish Government is already providing annual funding of £940,058 from the Connected Communities budget to organisations working with refugees and asylum seekers. This funding has been in place since 2017 and currently runs to 30 September 2021. Development of successor funding arrangements is currently underway.
The New Scots strategy was developed by the Scottish Government, COSLA and the Scottish Refugee Council, along with other partners across the public sector, Third Sector and academia. Crucially, it has involved refugees and asylum seekers in its development and implementation. It sees integration as a long-term, two-way process, involving positive change in both individuals and host communities. The strategy has been endorsed and commended by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.