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Moray date to welcome refugees expected in two weeks

The UN estimates there are nearly 35,000 people awaiting registration as refugees and hundreds of thousands who are not registered (AP)
The UN estimates there are nearly 35,000 people awaiting registration as refugees and hundreds of thousands who are not registered (AP)

As refugees continue to flee war-torn Syria in search of a new life in Scotland, Moray Council bosses are preparing for their arrival in the north-east.

Last week, more than 100 people from camps bordering Syria in the Middle East touched down in Glasgow for the first time.

Central belt local authorities, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Renfrewshire, Inverclyde and North Ayrshire, were among the first of the 32 across the country to host the new arrivals.

With scores of refugees expected to make the journey in the coming months, authorities everywhere will be playing their part.

The number expected to be accommodated in Moray has yet to be determined.

However, the council’s chief executive Roddy Burns revealed yesterday that the date when refugees may start arriving in the area will be announced in the next two weeks.

He added that catering to their needs is far more complex than supplying food and shelter.

Mr Burns said: “Obviously, there are refugees now arriving in Scotland.

“We have been working very closely with those authorities who are receiving them and on the basis of their experience.

“It’s quite clear that, first of all, it will take a community partnership approach to ensure the welfare of the refugees is sufficient because clearly there are a number of health issues.

“It will also need some form of co-ordinated action plan, given the range of services that will be involved in looking after their welfare.

“In terms of when Moray might anticipate being able to receive refugees, it is hoped that a date will be announced in the next fortnight.”

The refugees in Scotland will be allowed to remain for five years, after which they can apply to settle permanently in their new homeland.

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