According to BBC, the cruise ship, MS Victoria, docked in Edinburgh, will provide refuge to those fleeing war-torn Ukraine until they are able to secure a permanent living situation. The ship has 739 rooms and will initially house around 1,700 people.
Earlier, the Scottish government had to discontinue its super-sponsor scheme because of a shortage of proper housing. However, now cabinet secretary of social justice, housing, and local government Shona Robinson said that the “safety and welfare of displaced people from Ukraine, who are primarily women and children who may have experienced much stress and trauma, is of paramount importance”.
The Scottish minister also went on to say that the government does want the Ukrainian refugees to feel comfortable during their stay, but they also don’t want people to spend more time in temporary accommodation for any longer than it is absolutely necessary.
According to news reports, the Ukrainian refugees living on board will be able to transit to and from the dock via shuttle buses, available 24 hours a day. There will also be services available for guests, including restaurants providing free food, child play facilities, shops, laundry, cleaning, Wi-Fi access, and communal living spaces.
Residents will be able to arrive and leave as per their needs as the vessel will be docked at all hours. Furthermore, the Scottish government announced that a security perimeter will be provided around the ship with security and identification checks for people moving on and off the ship.
“The Scottish government is still undertaking work to increase the capacity of the temporary accommodation and maximize the number of displaced people placed with volunteer hosts who have completed the necessary safeguarding checks,” Ms. Robinson stated.
MS Victoria has been chartered until January 2023.