A plan to purchase a temporary camp which was used by the British military during the London 2012 Olympics and move it to Iraq to house Christian refugees is being put in place by a group of religious NGOs.
The facility, which originally catered for over 13,000 army personal providing security during the Games, includes several large all-season tents, beds, cookers, washing equipment and generators.
The camps’ contents have remained in storage in London’s East End for over two years and are now up for sale at a cost of £3.25 million.
The National Caucus of the Persecuted Church, an umbrella group for several Christian anti-persecution organisations is hoping to raise enough money to purchase the facility over the coming months, with the aim of transporting it to Iraqi Kurdistan where thousands of Christians have been left homeless, after being forced to flee from Islamic State militants.
Speaking to Premier, Dr Russell Blacker, National Caucus for the Persecuted Church said: “Many of these Christians have arrived in Kurdistan with nothing; they’ve got just the clothes on their back. Many were in schools, which of course now have to be emptied because the Kurds have to get on and educate their children and there is no alternative provision provided so it is desperate.”
Some estimates suggest around 20,000 Iraqis Christians remain without shelter in the region, with a harsh winter about to set in.
Christian NGO, the Barnabas Fund has already purchased similar facilities left by the British military in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan after UK forces pulled out of the country earlier this month.
A convoy 20 trucks carrying the materials is currently making its way through Pakistan and is expected to arrive at the site in Dahuk, Iraqi Kurdistan in the coming weeks.
Construction work, which has been approved by Kurdish authorities has already started, with up 900 Christians expected to be eventually housed at the facility this winter.
So far, an estimated 1.8 million Iraqis have been forced to leave their homes. Many have been in fear for their lives from IS militants.
For months now attacks by IS, and the fear of their advance, have led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.