Media Alert: Food For The Poor CEO Visits Haiti/D.R. Border
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (July 15, 2015) – Today, Food For The Poor President/CEO Robin Mahfood traveled to Fond Bayard on the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, as part of an aid delivery mission from the charity’s Haiti office and warehouse in Port-au-Prince.
More than 30,000 people now make up the influx of people arriving from the Dominican Republic. The number has been reported by the governments of Haiti and the D.R., which share a border on the island of Hispaniola.
“It is inhumane to be thrown out like that without shoes, clothing, nothing. They are coming out of poverty to sheer destitution,” he said after making an early morning visit to the camp. “These children should not be sitting on these steps looking so sad and worried about what they will eat, where they will sleep. With God’s help, we will do everything we can.”
As numbers of desperate people are reported to grow along the Haiti/D.R. border, the relief and development organization Food For The Poor is responding to an urgent request for help with food, water, hygiene supplies and baby-care items. The charity delivered medicines and malnutrition supplements last week when it found that some children appeared to be malnourished.
The camp Mahfood visited today has about 200 people, with 15 pregnant women and 99 children. They are living in a small school, depending on the charity for food, clean water and clothes.
Hilda Perez, a Food For The Poor staff photographer reported on what she witnessed: “The sadness is palpable. Mothers look desperate and concerned. The ones we met felt appreciative of the help they have received, but they are concerned because they don’t know what’s next. They are in limbo.”
Food For The Poor staff are working to secure rehydration salts, rice meals, beans, corn meal, and baby supplies, along with dishes and eating utensils. Bleach and other cleaning supplies are needed to fight a resurgence of cholera and other threats of disease.
The situation is the result of a change in the D.R.’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.
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