A SCOTS charity has launched a fundraising appeal for a young asylum-seeking couple who are expecting their first child in a few weeks – and who have been living in a Glasgow “asylum hotel” for more than a year.

The woman, known as Aminah, and her husband, Faraj, came to Scotland in November 2020 after fleeing Libya and were put in a guest house while the Home Office decide on their asylum application.

While staying in the accommodation the 26-year-old became pregnant and is expected to give birth in three weeks.

READ MORE: Is this a balanced diet for an asylum seeking mother-to-be?

Positive Action in Housing (PAIH) said the couple have received no financial support during their time in the guest house – not even the £8 per week they are supposed to receive for essentials – and launched “Aminah’s Baby Appeal” after their lawyer said the Home Office would give them nothing until they are moved into regular accommodation.

This is despite a High Court ruling that asylum seekers should receive essential living costs, such as bus tickets, phone calls and food – known as Section 95 support.

Aminah and her husband occupy a room that has no cooking facilities and get their drinking water from a sink in the toilet.

Residents collect their food which is delivered in plastic bags at set times every day in large green delivery crates dumped in the dining area of the guesthouse.

Fifteen months on, the Home Office has not moved them into settled accommodation, and a Scottish Government baby box had been the only help Aminah has had to prepare for the arrival of her child.

A volunteer at a local foodbank who is also a midwife, noticed Aminah was heavily pregnant and reported her living conditions.

An NHS health visitor has also provided a letter of support, confirming that the accommodation is unsuitable for a baby and that they need a kitchen to make up feeds and their own meals.

Aminah said: “I’m expecting a baby girl on January 31, I am worried about bringing her up here.

“There are very few women here and I feel isolated, sometimes people are drunk or aggressive.

“My baby will cry. What if it upsets other people?

“If I open the window the smell of smoke comes in. I can’t bring my baby daughter up like this in peace, without proper cooking facilities to even make up her feeds once she is born.”

The couple are well educated and want to play their part in society – Aminah has a master’s degree and Faraj is a PhD student.

This appeal on justgiving.com will go towards the welfare needs of Aminah’s baby and any gift aid raised from it will go to the Emergency Relief Fund which supports destitute and impoverished asylum seekers.

PAIH director Robina Qureshi told The National: “Aminah and her husband are frightened of the Home Office’s powers and also of what could happen to them if they are forced to returned to Libya.

“They do not want to be identified because of the danger to their lives if they are returned, and we are limited in what we can say to protect their identity.

“This case destroys any pretence that the Home Office makes of caring about the welfare of asylum seekers.

“Sadly, it's only when we highlight cases that swift remedial action follows.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We are aware of this case and are working to resolve the situation at pace, including moving the individual into longer term accommodation as soon as possible.

“We provide specific guidance to hotels on caring for pregnant women in their care. We take the welfare of those we support very seriously, which is why we demand high standards and have a 24hr helpline for those who have issues.”