We’ve launched a Winter Appeal to help refugees across Scotland survive the cost of living crisis.
The next few months will be tough for all of us. But people fleeing war, torture and human rights abuses are facing a fight for survival.
Even before prices started to soar, many people seeking safety in Scotland could barely afford to make ends meet. Now they’re being pushed to breaking point.
Said and his family fled Afghanistan to escape the Taliban. He now works for our Afghan Citizens Information Service helping other refugees rebuild their lives in Scotland.
He said: “This winter, people I’m working with will face a lot of difficulties. Prices for electricity and gas are high. Food prices are also high. It’s very hard for them to survive these kinds of high prices. We have been through conflict and we had to leave everything behind to enter the UK. Our dream is to rebuild our life here and have a future for ourselves and our kids.”
Comfort came to Scotland in search of refugee protection in 2019. She was pregnant at the time. Today, she is struggling to provide for her baby son while she waits for the Home Office to process her asylum claim.
People in the asylum system are not allowed to work while they wait for their claim to be processed. Instead, they receive just over £40 a week from the Home Office to pay for food, transport, warm clothes and other basic essentials. It simply isn’t enough.
She said: “How do you expect people to live on just £5 a day? Right now, so many things are really expensive. Transport is £5 a day and then you need to eat. We’re suffering. People can’t afford to buy food.”
No one should have to choose between putting food on the table or buying a bus ticket so they can make it to a vital appointment. Unfortunately, that is the daily reality for many of the men, women and children we support.