Two day trip underlines Scotland's support for displaced people of Ukraine
Scotland’s continued support and solidarity for all those affected by Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine, particularly those who have been displaced, will be underlined when Minister with Special Responsibility for Refugees from Ukraine Neil Gray visits Poland this week.
Mr Gray will provide reassurance that Scotland is a place of refuge and sanctuary for displaced people from Ukraine and that they are assured of a Warm Scottish Welcome and support whilst Scotland is their home.
During his two day visit to Warsaw and Krakow from 7–8 June the Minister will visit rescue hubs and centres and meet with Polish officials, representatives from some of Scotland’s key partners, UNICEF and the Red Cross, to learn more about their vital work, and also those who have been displaced by the conflict.
Since the conflict began more than 100 days ago, 3,747 displaced Ukranians with a sponsor location in Scotland have arrived in the UK. There have now been 10,901 visas issued with a Scottish sponsor via the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme, made up of 7,642 visas supplied through the Scottish Government’s Super Sponsor Scheme, and a further 3,259 visas issued for matches with an individual sponsor in Scotland.
The Scottish Government is working closely with local authorities and third sector partners who are providing accommodation and practical help such as clothing, healthcare, trauma support and translation services to those who need it.
In addition, the Scottish Government has provided £4 million in financial aid to help with basic humanitarian assistance, including the provision of healthcare, water and sanitation, and shelter for those fleeing Ukraine. Of this, £1 million was allocated to the British Red Cross and SCIAF – both members of our standing Humanitarian Emergency Panel – £2 million has gone to Ukraine via the Disasters Emergency Committee’s appeal launched in Scotland and £1 million was allocated to UNICEF to support work providing life-saving services and support for families, including children with disabilities.
Mr Gray said:
“From the start of this brutal and illegal invasion, the people of Scotland have opened their arms in solidarity and support to displaced Ukrainians who have been forced to flee their homeland. With the invasion now past the 100 day mark, it’s vitally important that we continue to show our solidarity and support for Ukraine and also for the Polish people and authorities who are helping them.
“Poland has opened its arms to many hundreds of thousands of displaced people and it will be a privilege to see the excellent work the country is doing to help and learn from this best practice. But my prime purpose is to make sure Scotland is doing everything it can to assist Poland in what continues to be a very difficult situation. I’m keen to see at first-hand how the humanitarian support from the Scottish Government is being deployed to ensure it is meeting people’s needs.
“We’re also providing a leaflet for displaced people in Poland which gives important information on how to get here along with practical details about and how to access essential services. This will help to increase awareness of our commitment to provide refuge and sanctuary for the displaced people from Ukraine.”
Head of UNICEF UK in Scotland Lucinda Rivers said:
“The significant contribution that has been made by the Scottish Government and its people will help us to continue our vital work supporting the children of Ukraine and their families. These funds could go towards UNICEF activating 24 Blue Dot centres, offering safe spaces for families on the move and will allow us to continue to provide immediate care on the ground.”
A revised Scottish Government leaflet is being distributed in Poland which offers advice on safe routes to Scotland for those seeking refuge that will be provided in Ukrainian, Polish and Russian.
Information about the Scottish Government’s Super Sponsor Scheme is available online
Detailed visa data information is available online
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