Scotland ‘ready to help people of Haiti’

Scotland First Minister signals leadership on Haiti disaster:

First Minister Alex Salmond has pledged to find “many ways” to respond to the “extraordinary” devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti.

The Scottish Government “stands ready to assist” and could send financial aid.

Mr Salmond spoke about the Haiti earthquake at the start of First Minister’s Questions in the Scottish Parliament and said the thoughts of all MSPs were “with the people of Haiti at this very difficult time”.

The SNP leader said: “The Scottish Government is considering how best to respond to the situation and stands ready to assist, including potential financial assistance.”

Culture and External Affairs Minister Fiona Hyslop will be meeting some of the organisations which work in Haiti to find out what the Government can do to help in the aftermath of the quake, which is thought to have killed tens of thousands of people.

Mr Salmond urged the Scottish public to support the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal and said the Scottish launch of the appeal will take place tomorrow in Glasgow.

“It is imperative that we all do everything we can to support these organisations and I would encourage all members of the public to support that appeal when it is launched tomorrow.

“The minister’s meeting will follow that launch of the appeal, and the Scottish Government will be contributing and finding many ways to help what is an extraordinary, devastating international situation.”