No bi-national markets costs US$2.7 million a day, canal work continues, birthing tourism is down

As the shut down of the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti reaches its second week, the crossing of thousands of Haitians for bi-national market days, is no longer happening. Insteaed, many hundreds of Haitians have returned to Haiti during this time probably to avoid being deported by Migration.

However, economist Bernardo Matias told reporters from Acento.com that each day that the bi-national markets in Jimaní, Dajabón and Elías Piña are closed is costing the Dominican Republic about US$2.7 million or somewhere in the region of RD$153 million.

Haiti is an important trading partner for Dominican producers and merchants. Last week, the government of the Dominican Republic announced that it would reimburse producers of perishable goods who were losing their markets in Haiti. Matias called unsustainable the shutdown of the borders, and says the Dominican government will have to borrow money to maintain this policy.

Meanwhile, Hoy reports that as a consequence of the border shutdown and increase in border patrols, border hospital are not seeing patients from Haiti. In the border province of Elias Piña in August alone 66% of the women giving birth in maternity hospitals were Haitians; in Montecristi, 65.50%; in Indepe3nde3ncia 62.80%, Dajabón 61.60%.

Meanwhile, the construction of the highly controversial canal on the Masacre River continues, perhaps at an even faster rhythm, according to reporters that were on site last Saturday, 24 September 2023.

As Haitian Prime Minister Henry told the United Nations Assembly last week, the canal is a Haitian priority and the construction will continue.

Dominican and Haitian agreements state that this should be a negotiated project since it affects boundary waters and is covered under many international laws and the 1929 Treaty of Peace with Haiti.

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Diario Libre

25 September 2023