SCOTS have been thanked for their “incredible generosity” after welcoming nearly 6000 Ukrainian refugees.
The Scottish Government’s super sponsor scheme has seen more than 11,000 visas issued to Ukrainians fleeing their homes.
Since Russia invaded the country, 5700 people fleeing the country have landed in Scotland.
Of these 2342 were from individual sponsors while 3358 were from the Scottish Government sponsor scheme.
Minister for Refugees from Ukraine Neil Gray told The National it was “heart-warming to see the generosity of Scots” on display.
He said: “As we mark World Refugee Day this week, we want to emphasise Scotland’s continued support for all those affected by the conflict in Ukraine and we have made clear our intention for Scotland to take a fair and proportionate total number of displaced people from Ukraine, arriving in the UK.
“Dignity, care and respect are at the heart of our response.”
He said the Scottish Government is working in partnership with local councils and the third sector to ensure all those arriving at Scotland’s Welcome Hubs are given a “warm Scots welcome” with access to meals, comfortable temporary accommodation, trauma support and translation services.
He continued: “It is heart-warming to see the generosity of Scots who have signed up in their thousands across the length and breadth of the country to offer their homes to those arriving.
“Under our ‘Super Sponsor Scheme’, displaced people are accommodated safely in temporary accommodation until disclosure and property checks have been completed.
“As part of longer-term community integration, our national matching service delivered by Cosla is working with all 32 local authorities to identify suitable longer-term accommodation.
“We believe that the UK Government should follow our lead and develop a public sector matching service.
“Our Super Sponsor arrangements have already seen the sponsoring of more than 11,000 visas, and we will continue to do all that we can to welcome those fleeing the war zone in Ukraine for as long as our support is required.”
As of June 21, Home Office figures show that 47,137 Ukrainians have arrived in England, 2979 in Wales and 262 in Northern Ireland.
SNP MSP Bob Doris said he was proud of Scotland’s efforts to house Ukrainians.
He told The National: “Scotland is playing its part in addressing the humanitarian disaster that has been caused by Putin’s dreadful war in Ukraine.
“Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have lost their homes and I am proud that Scotland has offered some of them a place of sanctuary and hope they can start to rebuild their lives here.
“Scotland has a proud history of welcoming refugees into the country and that has been extended once again to Ukrainian families with Scotland taking in those in need.
“I hope to see the work offering Ukrainians and other refugees who have had their lives destroyed by war and conflict continue.”
A UK Government spokesperson said: “Through the incredible generosity of the Scottish public, more than 5700 Ukrainians have arrived in Scotland on our uncapped visa schemes for Ukraine.
“This shows the steps we have taken to speed up the process are working and we continue to make improvements so the Home Office can speed up the process further.”