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Seòmar agus comataidhean

Question reference: S6W-10378

  • Asked by: Kaukab Stewart, MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party
  • Date lodged: 12 August 2022
  • Current status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Neil Gray on 12 August 2022

Question

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on its arrangements for welcoming displaced people from Ukraine through the Super Sponsor scheme.


Answer

The Scottish Government’s super sponsor scheme was introduced on 18 March 2022, to offer sanctuary in Scotland to displaced people from Ukraine. It works within the UK Government’s Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme to provide a fast and safe alternative to private sponsorship.

Statistics published by the UK Government show that, as at 11 August, 10,056 people sponsored by the Scottish Government had travelled to Scotland. We continue to provide safe and secure temporary accommodation to all Ukrainians who need it on arrival.

This includes the MS Victoria I passenger ship, which has been docked in Edinburgh, which is providing temporary accommodation for 1,000 people from Ukraine. There has been positive reception from those families accommodated on board and from stakeholders.

There are nearly 36,000 Super Sponsor applications that have been made, of which nearly 30,000 have been approved for a visa so far. Not everyone will choose to use their visa. However, excluding the 10,000 who have already arrived so far this means around a further 20,000 visa holders could potentially arrive.

Therefore the Scottish Government has chartered a second passenger ship which will be located in Glasgow. We expect the ship to be operational in September, and it will provide up to a further 1750 people with the same level of facilities and support currently available to those in Edinburgh.

This is a humanitarian crisis requiring a whole of Scotland response, and the Scottish Government will continue to work closely with local councils and with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities to ensure that those displaced people who are already here, and those who have applied and are granted permission to travel, will be safe, secure and supported for as long as they need, after the dangers they have faced at home.

We are getting very close to capacity for the temporary accommodation currently available, particularly across the Central Belt. We do not want people having to stay in temporary accommodation for any longer than is necessary. We are therefore putting every effort into helping people find longer-term accommodation in communities across Scotland.