Emergency Situation Report: Haiti-Dominican Republic Statelessness and Looming Drought

September 4, 2015

SITUATION

The Dominican Republic continues to implement regulations (Law 169-14) that may render many Dominicans of Haitian descent stateless. Voluntary and forced returns of Haitian nationals peaked around a stipulated mid-August application deadline for thousands of people.

According to Dominican authorities, as of September 1, 84,000 Haitian migrants in the Dominican Republic have received work permits and some 110,000 permits are ready to be claimed in offices across the country. However, 78,000 people applied for permits and did not qualify; this population now risks deportation.

The flow of people observed at the border-crossings has returned to normal since the mid-August peak. However, there is concern for the humanitarian well being of 78,000 facing deportation. Most specifically, CWS and partners report harassment of a number of Dominican human rights defenders and migration activists including Manuel Dandre, with whom CWS has worked.

Drought and Flooding Concerns
Urban centers and farming communities in both Haiti nations continue to struggle with severe drought. Many communities have seen less than half of the normal rainfall for the season, and the local governments in the Dominican Republic declared a drought emergency in some areas. However, increased rainfall this week, and harder rains and winds triggered by the passage of Tropical Disturbance Erika in the Caribbean, could lead to flooding.

CWS RESPONSE

With CWS and denominational support, Servicio Social de Iglesias Dominicanas in the Dominican Republic continues to provide critical documentation assistance to affected individuals in Monte Plata province and in Dajabon.

A joint CWS and SSID staff team will conduct an assessment of the humanitarian situation at the Pedernales/Anse-a-Pitre border crossing in the coming week.

HOW TO HELP

Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts may be sent to your denomination or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515. Donations to our emergency response efforts around the globe may also be made online.

CWS is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.


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