Scotland is sending critical medical supplies and equipment to help Ukraine following the illegal invasion by Russia.
More than 500,000 emergency items which are valued at about £2.9 million, including hypodermic needles and oxygen masks, are being donated by NHS Scotland.
An initial donation will be flown from Stansted Airport in Essex to Poland on Thursday for onward transport to Ukraine and includes wound dressings and bandages. These supplies are urgently needed by the Ukrainian Government.
The medical aid is in addition to £4 million of humanitarian assistance for Ukraine announced by the Scottish Government on Monday, which will help provide basic support such as shelter, water and sanitation.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited the NHS equipment storage facility in Motherwell to see the supplies being loaded. She said:
“Scotland stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and we are ready to provide whatever support we can in their hour of need.
“The Ukrainian Government has requested critical medical assistance and I am proud of our NHS and all those who have worked tirelessly in recent days to make this initial consignment possible. We will deliver the rest of the supplies as quickly as we can.
“Scotland has strong links with Ukraine – Edinburgh is twinned with Kyiv and many Ukrainians have chosen our country as their home – and we will continue to provide practical help as it faces Russia’s unprovoked and illegal aggression.”
NHS National Services Scotland Chief Executive Mary Morgan said: “We are all very saddened by what is happening in Ukraine and our thoughts are with all those affected. Colleagues across NHS National Services Scotland, quickly mobilised to compile this shipment of necessary medical equipment which will go towards supporting the people of Ukraine, and we as an organisation will do whatever we can to support this period of uncertainty.
“Time is of the essence in this these situations, and thanks goes to the NHS teams for a fantastic effort in the coordination of this effort to support the humanitarian effort of Ukraine.”
Alan Smith from Bauer Media was on hand to interview the First Minister about the aid.