Additional funding has been secured to support work to integrate refugees across Scotland.
The £1.6 million in funding will focus on the development of a refreshed New Scots Refugee Integration Strategy, ensuring refugees and asylum seekers are supported to make their new communities their home.
The New Scots Refugee Integration Delivery Project is led by the Scottish Government in partnership with COSLA, the Scottish Refugee Council and the UNESCO Chair for Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts at the University of Glasgow
Further projects to receive funding includes:
- Small grants to enable wide-scale public engagement across Scotland for the refreshed New Scots Refugee Integration Strategy. This will enable organisations to host engagement events for existing and recently arrived New Scots and ensure barriers to attendance are minimised, including travel and childcare
- The extension of University of Glasgow’s international research into New Scots integration for Afghan and Ukrainian Nationals, focussing on efforts made by the Scottish Government, local authorities and the third sector to support integration
- Refugee Festival Scotland - a focal point and celebration of all New Scots in Scotland. This will include providing small grants to organisations to enable them to host events as part of the Festival
- £500,000 in targeted funding for two of the highest priority areas: ESOL and Employability. The arrival of people from Afghanistan and Ukraine has reinforced the critical importance of employment in allowing all New Scots to rebuild their lives safely and securely thereby reducing the risk of poverty
External Affairs Secretary Angus Robertson said: -Scotland has a long history of welcoming people of all nationalities and faiths, including those seeking refuge from war and persecution. While continuing to support all refugees and people seeking asylum, in recent years we have seen two large scale resettlement efforts from Afghanistan and Ukraine, with over 20,000 displaced people from Ukraine alone arriving in Scotland since February 2022 and we have had to move quickly to get people the support they need to settled into their new communities.
-The Scottish Government and our New Scots partners are committed to supporting the integration of refugees and people seeking asylum into our communities and providing the safety and security they need as they begin to rebuild their lives. Our compassionate approach to support refugees and people seeking asylum living in Scotland is clear and this vital funding will ensure work can continue to refresh the New Scots strategy to take account of the significant changes in recent years and ensure any key learning is reflected.-
COSLA Community and Wellbeing Spokesperson Councillor Maureen Chalmers said: -COSLA is really pleased to continue to work with partners to build on the previous work of the New Scots Refugee Integration Delivery Project, to ensure there is a robust and responsive strategy to support all communities seeking protection in Scotland. Local authorities play a key role in integration and supporting their communities, including refugees and asylum seekers.
-This funding therefore gives a much needed to boost to integration work and in particular the areas of employment and language, as well as supporting the development of the next New Scots Strategy.-
Scottish Refugee Council CEO Sabir Zazi said: -Successful, well integrated communities need support, both for the individuals seeking safety in Scotland and the local areas receiving them. We are particularly pleased to see funding in place to boost English language support and to help people back into employment. These are two areas that are crucial to integration, both for the individuals and families affected and the communities receiving them.-
UNESCO Chair for Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts at the University of Glasgow Professor Alison Phipps said: -At this critical time for those who have sought refuge and asylum in Scotland the successful securing of extended funds for ESOL and Employability projects is greatly needed. That this builds on the success of New Scots Refugee Integration Strategy as a world leading internationally acclaimed partnership, built on human rights allows us make confident steps towards the launch, by the New Scots Partnership, of a refreshed New Scots strategy.-
The New Scots Refugee Integration Delivery Project is led by the Scottish Government in partnership with COSLA, the Scottish Refugee Council and the UNESCO Chair for Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts at the University of Glasgow.
It is part of the New Scots refugee integration strategy , which aims to ensure refugees live in safe and welcoming communities that enable them to rebuild their lives from the day they arrive in Scotland. The strategy has been endorsed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, who commended the involvement of refugees and asylum seekers in its development.
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