By Jung Sung-ki
The Military Mutual Aid Association said Tuesday it will provide the Korean rehabilitation contingent in Haiti with 400 sets of portable toilets worth 10 million won.
The toilets can be easily set up at field training or construction sites, so the equipment will help Korean troops work in the quake-hit region, it said in a news release.
"The portable toilets are a necessity for troops working in the quake-hit region where most buildings and facilities were destroyed," the release said.
Besides the portable toilets, the association will supply 50 sets of tents and 180 biodegradable plastic bags, it said.
Last week, the Korean military launched a unit for peacekeeping operations (PKO) for Haiti. The 240-strong contingent is the sixth PKO unit from the country.
The National Assembly passed a motion on Jan. 9 to deploy the contingent to work with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). The contingent includes 120 engineers, 26 staff officers, and 41 Marines and reconstruction workers.
Army Col. Kim Soo-seong will lead the contingent. Kim led the Dasan engineering unit in 2003 for rehabilitation missions in Afghanistan. Members of the unit will leave the country aboard a chartered airplane Saturday.
A group of 30 troops had already left for Haiti to lay the groundwork for future arrivals. The forward group has worked to set up a post in the coastal city of Leogane, some 40 kilometers west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, where the Korean troops are slated to be stationed.
An estimated 200,000 people have been confirmed dead since the small Caribbean country was hit by a powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake on Jan. 12.
South Korea has pledged more than $16 million in aid to Haiti, and plans to share the estimated $25 million cost for its peacekeeping force with the United Nations.
In Haiti, there are 9,000 multinational troops and police enforcements, and more nations are promising to send troops, or add to the forces they have already dispatched.