Food for the Poor to build homes for deportees

ood For The Poor's Executive Director Angel Aloma visits children in Haiti in 2010.

Jamaican, Miami-based nonprofit Food for the Poor has announced plans to build homes in Haiti for families displaced by the Dominican Republic’s new law stripping birthright citizenship from Dominicans born to non-citizen parents. The project will construct 120 homes – 100 homes for displaced families from the Dominican Republic and 20 homes for families currently living in the area.

The government has donated about 76 acres of land at the border village of Fond Bayard for the project. The project also includes plans to establish training programs beekeeping, animal husbandry, aquaculture and agriculture. A community center also will be built, where vocational training in plumbing and auto repair will be provided. A small clinic will be built for the community’s medical needs as well.

Food for the Poor has been operating in both Haiti and the Dominican Republic since early this summer, after the Dominican government began deportation – mostly affecting Haitian migrants and 2nd and third generation Dominicans of Haitian descent. Many families have also left to country preemptively to avoid deportation. Despite protests from international governments and humanitarian organizations, the Dominican Republic is proceeding with deportation, creating a surge of refugees.

Speaking to the National Weekly, Angel Aloma, executive director of Food for the Poor, expressed deep concern over the fragile humanitarian crisis.

“They are 210,000 people who are in this situation,” says Aloma. “It’s a very tough thing to add the population of a small city to a county that is currently struggling.”

According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 66,000 people are believed to have fled to Haiti to avoid threats of deportation from the Dominican Republic. Food For The Poor has been providing aid to Pacado and Téte-á-l’eau in the Anse á Pitre area, and in Malpasse, since the border crisis between the two countries reached its peak in July.

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