Food For The Poor Relocates Displaced Families in the Haiti/D.R. Crisis

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Sept. 28, 2015) – Relief has come for 166 people who fled to Fond Bayard, Haiti, from the Dominican Republic. On Saturday, Food For The Poor transported these families to safe shelter in Petite Rivière, in the Artibonite region of the country.

“Since July, these families had been living in desperate conditions. Once the school year resumed, these displaced families were forced from the school into makeshift tents on the school’s property in unsafe and poor sanitary conditions,” said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor. “But relief has come for this group of people. It was an emotional time for these families when they realized the buses were there to remove them from what was quickly becoming a place of misery.”

After a four-hour ride, the convoy of buses reached the training center that will serve as a temporary home for the families in Petite Rivière de l'Artibonite, where the 166 people who are mostly women and children, were warmly welcomed. The community center has dorm rooms with beds, running water and bathrooms with flush toilets. The town’s mayor, police, priest and community leaders all greeted the displaced families.

The Haitian government has donated 76 acres on which FFP has pledged to build 100 homes for these displaced families and others from the D.R., as well as 20 homes for families already living in the area of Artibonite, where this new community will be established.

The new community will have concrete block houses with flush toilets and water cisterns.  Each family also will receive a solar light kit. The new residents will receive training in self-sufficiency projects, such as beekeeping, animal husbandry, aquaculture and agriculture. A community center, where vocational training in plumbing and auto repair will be provided, is planned. A clinic will be built for the community’s medical needs, as well.

“The people crossing from the Dominican Republic into Haiti are in desperate need of assistance and housing,” said Mahfood. “I am asking anyone who can help us to please do so. No amount is too small because we’re in urgent need of your support.”

Until the village is built, Food For The Poor has committed to providing the group with food, milk and toiletries.

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The situation is the result of a change in the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court in 2013, which removed citizenship from anyone born after 1929 who doesn’t have one parent of Dominican blood. The country later decided that those affected could apply for a residency permit, with a deadline of Feb. 1, 2015.

Food For The Poor, named by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 95 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit

Wanda Wright

Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6079