Support for the people of Ukraine
The Taskforce shares the shock and disbelief expressed by many over the situation in Ukraine and recognises the impact the ongoing conflict is having including on Ukraine’s food security and that of many of the countries in the Middle East and North Africa reliant on Ukraine for their own food security.
If the conflict does not stop, Ukraine’s 2022/23 agricultural production and beyond could be cut significantly due to labour, input and machinery supply disruptions. The proposed future meetings of the Taskforce, and wider work on food security would provide a mechanism to monitor this actively.
A purpose of the Taskforce was for it to explore how to support humanitarian aid efforts to Ukraine in the short, medium and long term. It was also to consider how the industry could provide employment opportunities to those arriving from Ukraine. In doing so, the Taskforce was keen to be in step with established support efforts. An initial meeting, took place on 17 June, with local authorities, relevant Scottish Government and Department for Work and Pensions colleagues to look at opportunities to offer work in the seafood sector.
The Taskforce recognised that the Scottish Government has given £4 Million to provide relief, including food, as well as over £3 Million of medical supplies and equipment, to those affected by the war in Ukraine. It has emphasised in its communications, donating funds to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Appeal or another reputable charity is quicker to deliver than collecting donations in-kind. The Taskforce also recognised Scottish Ministers have written to the UK Government to ask how it intends to co-ordinate further efforts, including with the EU, and offering support. While planting will already be underway for the season ahead in Ukraine, Government and industry will continue to evaluate what more can be contributed and to support the UK Government in its efforts to help our near neighbours. In particular, the Scottish agriculture industry - already connected to its Ukrainian counterparts - will consider how it can support Ukraine’s agri-food supply chains in the expectation of a future, national rebuilding programme.
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