MS Victoria, a cruise vessel chartered by the Scottish government, welcomed the first group of refugees from Ukraine on Tuesday while the war continued in Ukraine.
Per BBC, MS Victoria is docked in Edinburgh. It offers refuge to those fleeing Ukraine until they can secure a permanent living. The ship boasts 739 rooms and will house about 1,700 people.
Earlier, the Scottish government discontinued the super-sponsor scheme owing to a dearth of proper housing facilities. But, Shona Robinson, the cabinet secretary of social justice, housing, and local government, has reported the safety and well-being of displaced Ukrainians, especially women and children (who probably have experienced trauma and stress due to the war) of extreme importance.
The Scottish minister added that the government wants the refugees from Ukraine to feel safe during their stay. However, they also do not want people to spend more time in temporary accommodation longer than what’s necessary.
Per reports, Ukrainian refugees on board can expect to transit from and to the dock in shuttle buses, available round-the-clock. There will be a host of guest services, including restaurants offering free food, shops, child play services, laundry, Wi-Fi access, cleaning, and communal living zones.
Residents can arrive and depart per their needs as the vessel will be docked all the time. The Scottish government also announced a security perimeter with security and identification checks for those moving on and off MS Victoria.
Robinson added that the Scottish government is also trying to ramp up the capacity of its temporary accommodation and increase the number of displaced individuals placed with volunteer hosts who’ve completed essential safeguarding checks.
MS Victoria has been chartered till 2023 (January).
References; NDTV, DNP India