Scotland is to play a leading role in an international effort to solve homelessness, it will be announced today.

Glasgow is to join a select group of 12 so-called "vanguard cities" each working to achieve specific targets by 2020.

A new global programme "A Place to Call Home" will see each city given a tough target and a deadline of 2020, with the ultimate aim of ending street homelessness by 2030.

At the annual conference of the Homeless Network at the City Chambers today, Glasgow will join the six participants already announced: Adelaide (Australia), Chicago, Edmonton (Canada), Greater Manchester, Rijeka in Croatia and Tshwane in South Africa.

The initiative is led by the Institute of Global Homelessness (IGH), chaired by Dame Louise Casey, former head of the UK Government’s Rough Sleepers' Unit.

Glasgow’s target to reduce by 75 per cent the number of people sleeping rough every week in the city centre area, by 2020, and also to halve the number sleeping rough across Glasgow each year, estimated at just over 500 individuals annually.

Maggie Brunjes, Chief Executive of the Homeless Network, said: “Rough sleeping is the most damaging form of homelessness and an ordeal that no one should have to endure.

"It is a very exciting opportunity for Glasgow and Scotland to be at the front of this programme going forward.”

Dame Louise Casey said the IGH had been impressed by the close collaboration between the public and charity sectors in Glasgow, adding: "We believe this is a combination with the strongest potential to achieve the type of change that can be an inspiration to other world cities facing a deeper and more complex challenge.”

Councillor Mhairi Hunter, City Convener for Health and Social Care, said a £50m fund had been established to try to end rough sleeping over five years.

"Glasgow at the front of this larger global effort announced today will provide inspiration and pace, but also perspective. We will be upfront about challenges to be solved and pragmatic and persistent about what it will take to achieve our ambition to end rough sleeping.”