Speaking at the close of the first meeting today,8th September, of a new task force set up by the First Minister to coordinate Scotland’s response to the crisis in southern Europe, Europe Minister, Humza Yousaf, said that the majority of Scotland’s 32 councils have already indicated a willingness to accommodate refugees affected by the current humanitarian crisis.
The task force also announced the creation of an online hub to direct members of the public to information about how they can donate or register their willingness to help refugees in other ways.
During an emergency summit convened in Edinburgh on Friday 4th September, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland stands ready to take at least 1,000 new refugees as an immediate priority.
The operational task force brings together Scottish Ministers, the Scottish Refugee Council, the UK Government, local government and key stakeholders to coordinate Scotland’s humanitarian and practical response. This first meeting considered issues of housing, health services, language support and social services for refugees.
At its conclusion, Mr Yousaf said the task force heard from COSLA that they have had an ‘overwhelming, unprecedented response’ from local authorities in making their initial inquires.
The Minister also that the proposed online hub will also register available accommodation, proffered assistance with lessons in English as a second language, befriending services and drop off hubs for donated materials.
Mr Yousaf confirmed that this hub is expected to go live in a few days time.