News

Scotland commits humanitarian funds to Afghanistan

Published: 02 Sep 2021 00:01
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International

£250,000 for urgent aid.

Critical help for the people of Afghanistan worth £250,000 is to be made available from the Scottish Government’s Humanitarian Emergency Fund (HEF).

External Affairs Secretary Angus Robertson, who will lead a Scottish Parliament debate today on the humanitarian and human rights crisis in Afghanistan, said the funds will be dedicated to aid those in peril and need.

The Scottish Government is in close contact with the charities involved in the HEF to determine how support can be delivered safely and effectively.

The announcement follows the commitment by the Scottish Government to play its full part in the resettlement of Afghan refugees.

The Scottish Government also continues to call on the UK Government to provide further details of the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme as soon as possible.

Mr Robertson said:

“We have all been moved by the current crisis in Afghanistan and stand ready to help those in need at this critical time.

“We have activated the Scottish Government’s Humanitarian Emergency Fund and this £250,000 will provide crucial help to those desperately in need in the midst of this harrowing crisis. And this is additional to the financial commitment the Scottish people already make to the UK’s aid budget through tax contributions.

“The UK Government has said that its aid to Afghanistan will be doubled, and that is a step in the right direction – but ultimately amounts to nothing more than a reversal of previous major cuts to aid to Afghanistan.

“A tragedy is engulfing Afghanistan. We are ready and willing to play our part – Scotland will not only provide humanitarian assistance, but is committed to playing a full role in assisting, and welcoming, the resettlement and relocation of Afghans at risk.”

Background

The Humanitarian Emergency Fund provides aid in the aftermath of a crisis. 

The HEF panel is made up of eight leading humanitarian aid organisations in Scotland who advise and access the fund: Mercy Corps, Oxfam, British Red Cross, Islamic Relief, SCIAF, Christian Aid, Tearfund and Save the Children.

Recent HEF funding for humanitarian emergencies has included responses to crisis situations in Niger, Beirut and Ethiopia.