The Dominican Republic occupies two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean and is bordered by Haiti in the west. The Dominican Republic is a popular tourist destination and, although the country has experienced the fastest economic growth in Latin America in recent years, the differences between rich and poor – urban and rural – are enormous. Since the Dominican Republic is six times richer than its neighbor, Haiti, many Haitians cross across the border in hopes of a better life. The relationship between the two countries is tense.
Our programmes are carried out together with partner organisations in civil society who work in the border area or with border issues. Cooperation between the Dominican and Haitian partners in joint projects is an excellent way to improve relations between the two countries and help them to take on common problems together.
The right to peace and security: Norwegian Church Aid works with civil society and local authorities in the border area to make it possible for women to participate in reconciliation processes between the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Many Haitian women are exposed to violence, prostitution and trafficking when they migrate to the Dominican Republic. Norwegian Church Aid is working to protect women and girls against this type of gender-based violence. We are also working for the two neighboring countries to take women's rights into particular consideration when they meet to discuss border issues.
Climate justice: Because of the island’s climatic vulnerability and the tense relationship between the two countries, Norwegian Church Aid is working with forest regeneration projects, sustainable agriculture and alternative energy in border communities. We are also engaged in advocacy and information work to tackle climate change on the island. Prevention of the natural disasters the island is vulnerable to is another focus area in which cooperation between the two countries is essential.
Coordination through the ACT Alliance
Norwegian Church Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance’s international network. Some of our partners in the Dominican Republic are members of the local ACT Forum. In addition, we coordinate our activities with other ACT members in the country and on the island in, among other areas, the development of joint plans for capacity building and work with disaster risk reduction.