BARELY a third of the displaced Ukrainians heading for a sponsor in Scotland have so far arrived in the UK, according to official figures.

As Russia's war on its neighbour reached its grim 100-day milestone, the Scottish Government said this country had “opened its heart” to those fleeing the conflict.

It said a total of 3,747 displaced Ukrainians with a sponsor location in Scotland had arrived in the UK.

That compares to around 10,900 visas issued with a Scottish sponsor via the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme, or 34 per cent.

Of these, around 7,640 visas were supplied through the Scottish Government’s Super Sponsor Scheme, and a further 3,259 issued for matches with an individual sponsor in Scotland,

Neil Gray, the SNP minister with special responsibility for refugees from Ukraine, said councils and the third sector had strived to provide a ‘Warm Scots Welcome’.

The support includes meals, accommodation, clothing, healthcare, trauma support and translation services. 

Displaced people also have access to free healthcare and social security benefits, while a national matching service helps identify longer-term accommodation across the country from individual Scottish hosts, councils and housing associations.

Mr Gray said: “The horrors that have befallen the people of Ukraine since their country was invaded by Russia 100 days ago has shocked everyone in Scotland and around the world, and we stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

“As a nation, Scotland has responded and opened its heart and extended the hand of friendship offering support and services for thousands of displaced Ukrainians.

"I would like to thank the thousands of people who have generously opened their doors to Ukrainian families, volunteered and donated to causes.

“I would also like to thank Scotland’s local authorities and third sector organisations which have risen to the challenge we faced to mobilise a major effort in coordinating help, providing support and services, and to the private sector which has also offered assistance, in such a short space of time.

“Whilst we want peace and for people to be able to return to Ukraine when it is safe and when they wish to do so, Ukrainians who have settled here can be assured Scotland will be their home for as long as they want it, and they will be made welcome and treated with care, dignity and respect.

“The Scottish Government and our partners are here to provide support for as long as it takes and we are sure the people of Scotland feel the same.”

Brenda Black, Chief Executive Officer of Edinburgh Community Food, which has been helping refugees cook and eat meals together, said: “Ukrainian people have fled from a country where, before the invasion, grains and fresh vegetables were plentiful and have always been everyday diet staples.

“Edinburgh Community Food is welcoming people by providing quality fresh, healthy familiar foods to help families cook and eat meals together, as well as connecting and nurturing people with our traditional Scottish produce and hospitality when they may feel overwhelmed by trauma.

“The process of preparing, engaging, and sharing food can provide comfort and happier memories of home.

“Since the first arrivals from Ukraine, we have been working together to support third sector partners and businesses to offer people access to services and opportunities in Edinburgh and across the rest of the country.”