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Community / Group formed to coordinate aid response to events in Afghanistan

The Shetland flag. Photo: SIC

A CAMPAIGN coordinating Shetland’s response to the humanitarian emergency in Afghanistan has been set up.

Leading the project is Ryan Thomson – the councillor who recently said Shetland should be ready to accept people fleeing the country.

He said he has been contacted by “so many folk” after his views were aired by Shetland News.

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It comes after militant group Taliban took hold of Afghanistan, leading to a surge in people looking to leave the country.

The group is called Afghan Emergency – Shetland and it can be found on Facebook.

“It’s clear something needed to be arranged so the people of Shetland could offer their help and support to the people fleeing Afghanistan,” the councillor said.

“The scenes at Kabul Airport are utterly heartbreaking.

“However once those have managed to flee Afghanistan a new battle emerges with regard to refugee status and asylum.”

Thomson said there already a number of volunteers keen to help, such as through coordinating drop-off points for aid items which would be delivered to those arriving in the UK.

Thomson said he has been liaising with “well known local community charity organisers to make sure we have a co-ordinated operation to gather as many essential items required from anyone who wants to donate no matter where they are in Shetland”.

He added that he has been in contact with NorthLink Ferries and freight company Northwards about the possible transportation south for essential items.

Shetland is no stranger to coming together to help those in crisis – the Shetland Solidarity with Refugees group has regularly taken in donations of items.

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