Haiti’s neighbor increases security due to food crisis

By June 12, 2008

Haiti (MNN) — The current problem in Haiti boils down to needing food. That's likely part of the reason Dominican Republic's officials are tightening the belt on the border
between their country and Haiti. That means no food is getting out, and no immigrants are getting in.

According to a published news source, 50 extra Dominican border guards are being put to work stopping people who attempt to smuggle rice, eggs and poultry out of the country. 

Eva DeHart of For Haiti with Love says it is a protective measure on the part of the Dominican government. "They're trying to stop Haitians from going into Dominican Republic, which gives them more people to feed, and to prevent their food from going into Haiti because they need their supplies for their own population."

Rice prices have shot up in Haiti. For Haiti with Love has been looking for rice for the last week, but none is available. "The price isn't an issue because there is no rice," DeHart explained.  Buying rice by the cup from street vendors is poor people's only option now. But vendors may soon find that importers don't even have rice available. The Dominican government is making sure that this void isn't being filled with their rice. They've put 11,000 pounds of their state-subsidized rice into bright red bags so they are easier to spot at the border. 

DeHart says other price factors are playing into the unavailability of food for their food program. "Even when it's donated, our domestic shipping prices to get it to the
port have sky-rocketed. The sea shipping is increasing every time you get a quote because fuel prices are going up, and economic impact in the U.S is affecting contributions.

"It's a matter of really intense prayer because God is the only one who knows how this is going to turn out."

Questions about the future of ministry and how they will provide are hard to answer for DeHart. In addition, Haitians begin asking hard questions, she said. "If
they've got no food, they equate that to ‘Where is your God?' Preaching faith in times of starvation is a really challenging task."

You can help by giving what you can to their ministry to cover the cost of rice when it
becomes available, or to help with other needs.
For Haiti with Love is currently in need of more diesel to fuel their clinic and 24 batteries for their inverter. It is impossible to ship these batteries from the U.S. because of new regulations since 9/11. 

Pray that Haiti will be able to come out of this especially difficult time. Pray also for missionaries who are trying to provide the basic needs for people. And, pray that the country as a whole would return to Christ. 

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