Glasgow in Scotland is set to become the first city in the United Kingdom to welcome Syrian refugees ever since the crisis started unfolding. The city is expecting 63 Syrians from refugee camps in Lebanon and Iraq, who are due to arrive in Scotland, by the end of October, the Huffington Post reported. The move is part of the U.K.’s larger plan to absorb close to 20,000 refugees over a period of five years.
The Glasgow City Council has formed an agreement with the Home Office to identify the 63 people, according to the Independent. Accommodation and services are reportedly already in place for the incoming refugees. The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities said, according to the Independent, that all 32 local authorities had agreed to a coordinated response to the humanitarian crisis.
“Scotland’s local authorities have an excellent track record in supporting the most vulnerable in society,” Councilor Harry McGuigan, a spokesman for the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, told the Scotsman.
Scotland has also supported European countries who are coping with the refugee crisis, like Greece, Macedonia and Serbia, by sending 17 tons of aid and supplies, according to the Huffington Post. The Scottish government has also reportedly sent 300,000 pounds ($455,340) to humanitarian organizations helping the refugees.
Duncan Campsie, from the Glasgow City Council's asylum and refugee service, told the Independent that a long-standing plan was required to help the refugees. “We need to speak to the Home Office for funding. It needs to be a five year thing. It's not just about taking the numbers in and putting them in a flat. It's schools, health, benefit arrangements,” Campsie said.
British Prime Minister David Cameron reportedly came under pressure to do more for the refugees, after the photograph of the drowned Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi was circulated in the media. Early last month, Cameron agreed to accept 20,000 refugees over a span of five years.