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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Minister for Refugees From Ukraine Appointed

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Neil Gray to lead day-to-day response.

The Minister for Europe and International Development, Neil Gray, has been given responsibility for the Scottish Government’s approach to supporting Ukrainian refugees arriving and living in Scotland.

Mr Gray will lead the Scottish Government’s engagement and partnership work with local authorities, COSLA, the third sector and other agencies, and engage with the UK Government to press for swift and coordinated humanitarian action and support.

The Minister will ensure action is integrated with the work the Scottish Government will carry out with COSLA and others on wider refugee and asylum integration, including the New Scots strategy, and will engage with affected groups in the community.

Mr Gray will also attend the Cabinet as required and report directly to the First Minister on this issue.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“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.”

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