Sturgeon leads calls for donations to help Ukrainians enduring ‘horror’ of war

The First Minister confirmed £2 million of Scottish Government cash is being given to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal.

03 March 2022

Leaders of Scotland’s major parties have called on the public to donate to an appeal to support the people of Ukraine.

Speaking ahead of First Minister’s Questions on Thursday, Nicola Sturgeon expressed her “horror” at Russia’s “illegal invasion” of the country, which began a week ago.

Ms Sturgeon also pledged £2 million of the £4 million Scottish Government money announced for Ukraine will go the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal.

The appeal will raise funds for member charities to urgently respond to the crisis and provide people fleeing the violence with shelter, food, water and medical support.

The First Minister expressed her “admiration of and solidarity with the people of Ukraine”, adding: “All of them are showing incredible bravery as they stand up for the values of democracy and sovereignty and freedom.

“The Disasters Emergency Committee appeal brings together all of the leading aid agencies who are responding right now on the ground, and donating to its Ukrainian appeal is the fastest and most efficient way to get money to charities that are helping.”

The First Minister went on to urge Scots to donate to the appeal, saying: “Every penny donated from Scotland will help to get much-needed aid to the people of Ukraine who are fighting so hard for the values that we all hold dear.”

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “While we debate in this chamber we cannot forget that the people of Ukraine continue to put up the most heroic defence of their country in the face of Russia’s appalling actions.

“But they urgently need food, water, shelter and medical care.

“Today, I’ll stand with fellow party leaders to show our support for the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Ukraine appeal.

Ukrainian woman crying
A woman cries outside houses damaged by a Russian air strike near the Ukrainian capital Kyiv (Vadim Ghirda/AP)

“The people of Ukraine need our help in their time of need and I would encourage everyone across Scotland who can donate to do so and together we can help make a real difference to the people who’s lives have been devastated by this atrocity.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar also urged those in Scotland who can donate to give to the appeal.

“We will never forget the people of Ukraine and we will continue to support them throughout this tragedy,” Mr Sarwar said after paying tribute to people in Scotland who are already trying to help.

The money raised will allow the DEC to rapidly scale up its response and help those affected by the conflict.

The United Nations has said more than one million people have now fled Ukraine to seek sanctuary from the Russian invasion.

Graphic showing where refugees are going from Ukraine
(PA Graphics)

Ukraine’s state emergency service said more than 2,000 civilians have died since the invasion began, although that figure has not been independently verified, and many have been injured.

Marie Hayes of the British Red Cross Scotland, who is chairwoman of the DEC Ukraine appeal in Scotland, said: “DEC member charities are already helping thousands of people caught up in the horror of this conflict and are best-placed to provide the vital humanitarian support in the days and weeks to come.

“A donation now to the appeal will quickly and effectively provide crucial support needed by so many during these frightening times.”

Across the UK, every pound donated by the UK public will be matched by the UK Government through its Aid Match scheme up to the value of £20 million.

The DEC said £10 will provide essential hygiene supplies for one person for a month, £20 will provide emergency food for one person for one month, and £50 will provide blankets for 10 people.

Anyone who wants to donate can do so online at dec.org.uk, by phoning 0370 60 60 900, or by texting SUPPORT to 70150 to donate £10. Texts cost £10 and the whole £10 goes to the DEC Ukraine Appeal.

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