The Haitian-Dominican border divides the Caribbean island of Hispaniola into two dramatically different worlds, yet this long-neglected region holds the key to the further development of both countries and can serve as a model for how to manage difficult borders throughout the world.
We are working for the reduction of poverty and cross-border conflicts by creating opportunities for the residents of the Haitian-Dominican border–opportunities to improve their production, to improve their sales, and to work with their cross-border neighbors.
As Haiti begins to rebuild, the opportunities and possibilities in the Haitian-Dominican borderlands are more important than ever. We have pulled together a wide variety of information on the border in English, Spanish, and French. Join us in our work to develop Haiti from the border inwards!
As part of its MIF/OAS funded program, PADF hired Dr. Gerald Murray to conduct a study of the sources of conflict along the Haitian-Dominican border. This work was done in parallel with Dr. Murray’s study of mutual perceptions and attitudes that exist between Dominicans and Haitians. Although the bulk of the fieldwork was done in 2009, Dr. Murray returned to the island after the earthquake and updated the report based on the changed conditions that he found. Though nobody yet knows what is in store post-earthquake, Haiti will never be a replica of the country before the earthquake. The earthquake also exerts a profound impact, somewhat more predictable, on the economy and demography of the Dominican Republic as well. These impacts are already being sensed, though they cannot yet be fully charted.
PADF commissioned Dr. Gerald Murray to investigate mutual perceptions and attitudes that exist between Dominicans and Haitians, with a particular focus on the border area. The context for the assignment was the concern among development professionals, created not only by negative media coverage, but also various human rights reports and academic studies, that a situation of such conflict exists between Haitians and Dominicans in the border area that bilateral collaboration will be difficult. A companion report to the current one deals with the specific conflicts. This report will deal with the opinions that Dominicans and Haitians expressed about each other during six weeks of interviewing in the months. Read the rest of this entry »
Ms. Yadira Soto, advisor to the office of the Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), and expert on conflict resolution visited the border area -her second visit, during a mission on the Haitian-Dominican border. During her visit, she visit different areas (Pedernales-Anse a Pitres), discuss with producer groups of the area, and asses the current situation of conflict.
As a result, she offers us this report , where she states different sources of conflict, assessment of the work done by PADF in the area, and formulate a series of recommendations in a technical level that could be useful for future interventions in the region.
This mission was possible due to the support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the OAS and PADF.
It has been a month since the earthquake destroyed Port-au-Prince. Tomorrow was declared as the start of a week of mourning by the Haitian government. As I look back on the month, I am amazed at the changes, proud of some of my accomplishments, and saddened by my mistakes. Following are some of the main points:
- Instant Response: As soon as I heard about the earthquake, I began mobilizing to respond. We were fortunate to have a good relationship with the American Chamber of Commerce in the Dominican Republic. Their Executive Director called me the night of the earthquake and promised the first of the funds. The next morning, we loaded two of ourvehicleswith supplies and crossed the border. We were in Haiti within 24 hours of the earthquake. That was the hardest visit. Collecting the dead was the highest priority. Many people were trapped in buildings. There were no telephones and very little information.
I am just back from a quick trip into Port-au-Prince to provide initial assistance following the earthquake. Although I lived for six years in Haiti and helped with the response following numerous floods, I’ve never seen anything like this. I did not go into the heart of the damaged area, but was amazed at the damage that was everywhere. As I drove into town, I began to see the first impacts–a section of wall that collapsed here or there. A bit later, I saw whole cinder block walls that were down. A bit later, whole neighborhoods with their walls down. Then I began seeing concrete roofs that had crashed down. As I got into the center part of town, there were buildings down everywhere and corpses left out on the sidewalk for pickup.
What really makes life tough is the lack of services. Everyone is desperately trying to find out who was hurt, but the cellphone service is just starting to work again and the landlines are all down. Port-au-Prince has run out of gas, so the gas stations have become large parking lots that spill out into the roads. There has been no electricity since the quake. Potable water, which has always been expensive, is no very hard to find.
I’m sure that the national authorities are doing their best, but they don’t have much with which to work. The Civil Protection Department does not have any fuel for their vehicles and no one seems to have satellite phones.
It is hard breaking to see the damage and even more to imagine how hard it will be to rebuild. Poor Haiti was hardly finished digging out from the four hurricanes that hit just two years ago. How will they ever recover from this?
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Due to the earthquake in Haiti, we are postponing the launch of the book, “La Frontera Dominico-Haitiana” until next Wednesday.
If you would like to help us respond to the earthquake in Haiti, please donate through our secure donation site:
“This is a critical time for Haiti and our neighbors need our help,” says Amy Coughenour, Deputy Executive Director of PADF. “PADF will be working with civil protection authorities, the private sector and community organizations to provide immediate and long-term assistance.”
PADF – the natural disaster relief arm of the Organization of American States (OAS) – set up the safe and secure www.PanAmericanRelief.org so individuals may find out information and make donations.
We are proud to announce that we are launching the book La Frontera dominico-haitiana on Wednesday, January 13th at 7:00 pm at the Academia de Ciencias (Calle Las Damas, zona colonial, Santo Domingo). This is second book that we have published with Ciudades y Fronteras and their fourth publication. The book consists of ten essays and three annexes in Spanish written by authors from five countries. This is the most complete, most up-to-date reference book on the Haitian-Dominican border. It is available in the Dominican Republic for 500 pesos or internationally for $25.
La Frontera Dominico-Haitiana was published with support from the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank and the Organization of American States.