Published : 2013-12-27 09:44
Updated : 2013-12-27 09:44
A contingent of South Korean relief troops arrived in the Philippines on Friday to start their one-year mission to support the typhoon-stricken Southeast Asian nation's restoration efforts, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) here said.
A total of 520 troops, mostly composed of engineers and medics, will carry out relief missions and provide humanitarian support in Tacloban, an area hardest-hit by Typhoon Haiyan last month.
The unit is named "Araw," which means blessing and hope in Filipino.
Two amphibious landing ships carrying 260 crew members arrived at the port of Cebu earlier in the day to pick up the second team of South Korean personnel who arrive there by plane in the afternoon, the JCS said. After a welcoming event hosted by Korean nationals and local residents, the troops will depart to the affected area.
The ships are carrying various types of equipment and construction vehicles as well as 30 tons of supplies, including water and food, the JCS said.
The dispatch comes four weeks after the Manila government asked for Seoul to send troops to the typhoon-hit region, a decision made in the shortest amount of time for South Korea.
South Korea also pledged $20 million in aid to the Philippines to help assist with restoration efforts. (Yonhap News)