The Scottish Government has today announced that Neil Gray MSP, the Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development, has been appointed to a new additional position as the Minister with special responsibility for Refugees from Ukraine. Neil will take responsibility for those arriving in Scotland from Ukraine, and will coordinate Scotland’s response to the continuing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said today:
“Europe is facing the biggest refugee crisis since World War II.
“More than two million Ukrainians have been forced to leave their homes and Scotland is ready and willing to play its part and to offer sanctuary and support to them and the many more who will sadly follow.
“Given the gravity, and urgent, nature of the situation, it is right that this Government has a Minister with specific responsibilities for refugees from Ukraine who will be arriving in Scotland and need support to rebuild their lives.
“Reporting direct to me on this issue, Neil Gray will work closely with External Affairs Secretary Angus Robertson and Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison, and other Ministers, to ensure our response to this unprecedented crisis is co-ordinated across the Scottish Government.”
Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development and Minister with special responsibility for Refugees from Ukraine, Neil Gray said:
“Scotland stands ready to offer refuge and sanctuary for those fleeing Ukraine, just as we did with the Syrian Resettlement Programme, which saw all 32 local authorities in Scotland participate and welcome over 3,300 refugees into their communities.
“The Scottish Government is already bringing together key partners, like COSLA, the Scottish Refugee Council and Police Scotland, to coordinate plans and address the practical challenges of resettling Ukrainians here.
“With my additional responsibilities I will endeavour to ensure a swift, co-ordinated and focussed government response to the needs of the Ukrainians who seek sanctuary in our country.”
Frances Guy, CEO of Scotland’s International Development Alliance said:
“Scotland’s International Development Alliance welcomes this commitment to ensuring a coordinated response across government to a global crisis and looks forward to supporting the minister in this endeavour. Local charities in Scotland have long played an important role in welcoming refugees from across the globe, just as Scottish citizens have demonstrated solidarity with those in danger in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere.”