US$145 mln needed to send 900 more troops to Haiti

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To send 900 soldiers to Haiti and establish a new Brazilian military unit there will need an estimated 145 million U.S. dollars, said Brazilian army sources on Thursday.

The funds will be used to cover the expenses of establishing a new military unit in Brazil, including training troops, purchasing equipment, and establishing a new battalion in the quake-devastated Caribbean country.

The Army asked for fund twice as much as they requested before the earthquake. Army commanders asked for 55 million dollars, a figure then considered enough for the Infantry Battalion (Brabatt) and Engineering Company Peace Force (Braengcoy) already in Haiti.

A total of 750 soldiers from infantry battalion and 150 from military police will set off in late February, bringing to 1,266 the total number of Brazilian troops in the United Nations Mission for Stabilization in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

The dispatch was approved last week by the Brazilian Congress in response to a UN request. The congress also approved that the country maintains a reserve of 400 soldiers to be shipped to Haiti when necessary.

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