Ukrainian refugee crisis becoming refugee accommodation calamity

Scottish Liberal Democrat and Shetland MSP, Beatrice Wishart, has railed against the Scottish Government’s calamitous response to accommodating Ukrainian refugees. Raising constituents’ frustration at the speed in which the processing of refugee accommodation is being carried out, Wishart has pointed to the pressing need to ensure Ukrainian refugee children can enrol in school as soon as possible with the start of the new term looming.

This comes as the first group of Ukrainian refugees arrived on Wednesday (27th July) on a cruise ship docked in Leith, which could house up to 1,700 people as part of Scottish Government plans for temporary accommodation while the processing of matching refugees and sponsors continues. The ‘Super Sponsor Matching’ is processed centrally by the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA).

Scottish Liberal Democrats have called for measures such as reaching out to Ukrainian refugees to ensure they receive Covid-19 vaccinations, raising concerns about how quickly the virus could spread on board a cruise ship.

Ms Wishart said:

“People across Shetland have offered their own homes and available accommodation with kindness and love. Constituents have told me that since they signed up at the start of the sponsor programme they have had the necessary local checks but have heard nothing further from official channels. I can only imagine the deep frustration of refugees who are having to await their fate and possibly face the prospect of living on a cruise ship in Leith harbour.

“The Scottish Government should have had the foresight to scale up their Ukrainian refugee sponsorship programme considering the outrage at the invasion and warm hearts of Scots. Now the SNP-Green Government risk young people’s education by keeping Ukrainian refugees from enrolling at a school in their new settled location as the school term starts imminently. SNP-Green chaos has managed to turn Putin’s Ukrainian refugee crisis into a refugee accommodation calamity.”


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