Alex met with a UK network in the Ukrainian city of L’viv via Zoom last week who are getting people out of Ukraine and safe passage to Scotland.
They described the Scottish Government as being ‘humiliatingly underprepared’ for the needs of Refugees. The disconnect is so bad that last week the Government had to commission a cruise ship as a stop gap to cope with the refugees they couldn’t house. Those involved are quietly concerned that if something doesn’t turn up soon then it could become a floating refugee camp.
In response to this Alex is calling on the Scottish Government to adopt a 5 point plan to help sort all of this out, this includes:
- A fresh public call from Scottish Government for homes and hosts and better support for refugees in seeking permanent housing.
- The extension of the discretionary travel scheme (free buss passes) to all Ukrainian refugees for at least their first year in Scotland.
- Increased support for local authorities to conduct disclosure checks of hosts, vetting of accommodation and matching of guests.
- Early identification of the skills of those arriving so that they can be matched with job opportunities and given the chance to contribute.
- Comprehensive language support, particularly around healthcare. We need to ensure that people are assessed for trauma and offered access to covid vaccines.