Scotland stands ready to help to offer sanctuary to refugees who need our help. This is first and foremost a humanitarian crisis and it requires a humanitarian response. The SNP Scottish Government has repeatedly called on the UK Government to play a part in a co-ordinated European response and has agreed to take a fair and proportionate share of refugees in Scotland. Nicola Sturgeon has established a Refugee Taskforce, chaired by the Minister for Europe and International Development, which brings together Scottish Ministers, COSLA, the Scottish Refugee Council, the UK Government, local government and key stakeholders to coordinate Scotland’s humanitarian and practical response. The taskforce will be supported by an initial £1m in Scottish Government funding to ensure that services across Scotland are prepared to deal with the arrival of refugees, and and we will provide £300,000 to support humanitarian activity in southern Europe.
Refugee families and individuals who currently move to Scotland to be with their family under Family Reunion laws are entitled to crisis grants whilst they get settled. However, settling in a new country, with a new culture and language and getting to know your family again after many years of separation, is a difficult process that we want to make easier. We will therefore set up a fast track crisis grant fund for refugee families who settle here under Family Reunion rules.