Humza Yousaf ‘proud’ of Scots welcoming refugees

International development minister Humza Yousaf MSP was 'deeply proud'. Picture: John Devlin

International development minister Humza Yousaf MSP was 'deeply proud'. Picture: John Devlin

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International development minister Humza Yousaf has said he is “deeply proud” of Scots for welcoming hundreds of refugees over the past month.

The first charter flight bringing Syrian refugees to the UK touched down at Glasgow Airport on November 17.

Half of Scotland’s local authorities have now received refugees in their areas and the other half have indicated a willingness to support them, the Scottish Government said.

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More than 3,000 people have signed up to offer help on the Scotland Welcomes Refugees website, with more than 1,400 registering since the first arrival a month ago.

Speaking ahead of the final refugee taskforce meeting before Christmas, which takes place on Wednesday, Mr Yousaf said: “Hundreds of refugees have stepped off planes onto Scottish soil in the past few weeks.

“Fleeing terror and tyranny, many were expecting to face a freezing winter under canvas in refugee camps.

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“Instead, they are settled into safe new homes and have laid the foundations for a happy and productive new life in Scotland.

“I am pleased all now have homes and all have or are well on the way to having the documents they need to start a new life in Scotland.”

He added: “I’ve heard heart-warming tales - people walking up to refugees in the street and giving them hugs of welcome, offers of friendship, support and practical help, from arranging special community film screenings for refugees to giving them welcome gifts of food hampers, warm clothes and hot water bottles.

READ MORE - Leader: Syrian refugees are welcome in Scotland

“There is much more work to be done over the next few weeks and months to support the refugees as they work to pick up the threads of their lives afresh in Scotland.

“I am confident that our country, and in particular our people, are more than equal to this challenge.”

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