What the Council is doing
Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine hits very close to home. Not just because of the proximity of this war, but because of the family and civic connections between our nations and between Edinburgh and our twin city Kyiv. There has been a characteristically caring and generous response from the people of Edinburgh since the invasion began, with many people and organisations coming forward with offers of support and donations.
Edinburgh working together
We are working with our partners in the city to support humanitarian efforts in Edinburgh. Together we are ready to support victims of the crisis who seek refuge in Edinburgh.
We have daily meetings with the Scottish Government, Edinburgh Airport, third sector partners and other agencies to make sure Ukrainian people are welcomed into safety and receive all the support they need from the moment they land. This includes arranging accommodation, transport, interpreters, access to GPs and healthcare, counselling, education, and other vital services. A 24 hour helpline has also been set up for Ukrainian arrivals.
We have set up the Welcome Hub to support people travelling under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, including the Scottish Government’s Super Sponsor Scheme. We also have a drop-in service for people staying in Edinburgh at our Customer Hub at 249 High Street where we offer specialist advice and support.
The Council has committed £100,000 which will be targeted towards local efforts. This is being co-ordinated through the Edinburgh Partnership and will go towards facilitating donations and transport of supplies to Poland and other countries to which the people of Ukraine have fled.
In an additional display of solidarity with Ukraine, councillors have agreed a ban on Russian cultural events and performances in Council-owned venues. The Council has ended its relationship with the Russian Consulate.
Freedom of the City
Councillors unanimously agreed to grant the Freedom of the City of Edinburgh to the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, and Mayor Vitali Klitschko of Edinburgh’s twin city, Kyiv, to recognise how they are heroically standing by their citizens and leading the fight against the illegal invasion of their country.