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Scottish aid bound for refugees

Published: 28 Sep 2015 10:00

Minister will join charity volunteers to help send vital supplies to the Balkans.

Minister for Europe and International Development Humza Yousaf will today (Monday 28th September) help volunteers load an aid lorry with urgent materials and supplies for refugees in the Balkans.

The truck will leave Scotland in the coming week and travel 1, 660 miles bound for Novi Sad in the Balkans to be received by the Red Cross and other NGO's working to aid refugees. It's estimated materials and supplies will begin arriving at the regional aid hub in as little as 72 hours after departing Glasgow.

16 tonnes of warm winter clothing and 'Soapaid' hygiene bars have been kindly donated by the Scottish public to Glasgow The Caring City since the humanitarian crisis began. The soap can combat five of the seven main waterborne diseases.

Mr Yousaf said:

"We have been overwhelmed with practical offers of support from people across Scotland who want to help alleviate the suffering of vulnerable people caught up in this humanitarian emergency. Scotland's response has been amazing so far.

"The work of the refugee task force is well underway. Scotland stands ready to give the very best of Scottish welcomes to the refugees who are fleeing their homes and seeking protection, safety and security but we're urging the UK Government to do more now and help those in need on mainland Europe.

"The Scottish Government has reiterated its support, making it clear to the UK Government that we will take a proportionate share of the numbers who come to the UK."

Reverend Neil Galbraith from Glasgow The Caring City said:

"Structuring a humanitarian response which meets the needs of people fleeing the most distressing circumstances of violence and conflict, is a skilled and professional tasks. Glasgow the Caring City charity leads from the front at times such as this. We are the conduit between the goodwill of the people of Scotland and those seeking refuge in times of crisis.

"Our people on the ground in Serbia and senior staff in Scotland are coordinating an aid distribution program which links with local statutory agencies, The Red Cross and other NGO's to ensure that we effectively contribute to a situation which is ever changing in nature and scale with each passing day.

"Glasgow's charity is matching the goodwill of the Scottish people with the needs of those in their greatest hours of need. Our aid will be sustained and will cover a large geographical area including Serbia, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia and northern Greece but vitally, it is coordinated by our staff on the ground and highly experienced partner agencies."

People who wish to donate to the crisis are being asked to raise money so that it can be deployed through charities to reach those most in need.

Members of the public are also being encouraged to visit our dedicated website:

Notes to editors

Glasgow the Caring City was established in 1999 to care for children in crisis across the world and in Scotland. It was originally set up to assist people made homeless by wars across the Balkans and those arriving in Glasgow. In total, this appeal will deliver in excess of 100 tonnes of specific, tailored aid to partner agencies in the Balkan region.