BIG-HEARTED Edinburgh residents have donated £400,000 to help survivors in crisis-hit communities throughout the world.
The sum was raised for Edinburgh-headquartered charity Mercy Corps Europe, with staff hailing such generosity as critical to ongoing international aid efforts.
We want to extend a large and heartfelt thank you to the Edinburgh community for taking us in as their own international charity.Ali MacLeod
Confirmation of the 2015 total comes after the world was hit by a string of man-made and natural crises.
They included the Nepal earthquake – in which 9000 died – and the Syrian civil war, now in its fifth year.
European countries have also experienced an influx of refugees, as thousands continue to arrive in search of safety.
Bosses at Mercy Corps – which has around 4000 team members – said cash donated this year had supported humanitarian work in more than 40 countries. The funds also ensured the charity could help 25 million people survive crisis and improve their lives in places such as the Middle East, Somalia, Nepal and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ali MacLeod, director of fundraising and marketing at Mercy Corps Europe, said: “From our work with the Just Festival, through to our partnership with Edinburgh City Council and the Edinburgh Disasters Response Committee, to local businesses, schools and churches, and our collections at Edinburgh’s Christmas markets, the Edinburgh community’s response to the plight of others is generous and consistent and we couldn’t do our work without it.
“We want to extend a large and heartfelt thank you to the Edinburgh community for taking us in as their own international charity.”
Mercy Corps was congratulated in the Scottish Parliament for its 35 years of making a positive contribution to the world.
The charity also hosted visits by the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles and Prime Minister David Cameron, who came to see its work with Syrian refugees in Jordan.
Ms MacLeod added: “Unfortunately, 2016 will continue to be a year of deep concern for the humanitarian sector, with desperate needs in Syria and Yemen, as well as the unfolding situation in North-east Nigeria where two million people have been displaced by conflict.
“We know the Edinburgh community will continue to reach out to help and give to those who are struggling to survive.”
City leaders said they were “proud” of the generosity shown by residents.
Lord Provost Donald Wilson said: “Edinburgh’s response to the refugee crisis and humanitarian aid in the lead-up to Christmas has been heart-warming.
“Tragically, there are millions of people entering 2016 in hunger, fear and without shelter but thanks to the compassion and generosity of Edinburgh people and the efforts of Mercy Corps this year, £400,000 will benefit the work of this charity in 40 countries.
“We can all be proud of this.”