Council will receive redirected international aid funds for refugees

UK Government has pledged to take thousands from Syrian refugee camps
UK Government has pledged to take thousands from Syrian refugee camps

MORAY COUNCIL WILL receive a share of international funding to help feed and home Syrian refugees who may arrive at their doorstep.

That was the pledge being made by central government in response to the grass-roots pressure from people around the country that the UK does all it can to help the plight of thousands fleeing from the war that has embroiled their native country.

UK Chancellor George Osborne has said that funds from the £12billiion annual foreign aid budget will be channelled to local councils to allow them to pay for housing and other services.

The move follows a “fundamental rethink” by the Tory ministers over the cash that is spent each year on external international aid.

In a move that could also have far-reaching consequences for Moray, ministers are considering a major increase in RAF air strikes against Islamic State in Syria as part of what they say is a “comprehensive strategy” to tackle the cause of the refugee crisis.

Mr Osborne said: “The foreign aid budget that we have can provide the support for the first year for these refugees, to help local councils with things such as housing costs.

“This budget is tied to the GDP – our GDP is going up, so let us use the additional money very specifically on the challenges that Britain faces, one of which is this crisis right at our doorstep.”

Meanwhile efforts in Moray to welcome refugees who find their way north picked up pace at the weekend with ‘drop off points’ being established in the growing local demand for public assistance.

Moray CalAid, set up by local Labour and SNP councillors Sean Morton and Kirsty Reid, has provided a list of the items expected to be required to assist refugee families that includes items from trainers and hiking boots to pots and pans.

So far confirmed drop-off points for items have been established in Alves, Elgin, Aberlour and Keith with many more likely to be set up in the next few days.