The issues in the border zone of Haiti and the Dominican Republic are perceived in different ways by people living and working in the region. Some feel that despite the problems that may arise here, the area provides an opportunity for the people of our two countries to cooperate, share experiences and find joint solutions to shared problems. At the same time, others consider the border zone as a region where development opportunities are limited by poverty and isolation.
Before the earthquake that struck the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince and its surrounding areas on 12 January 2010, Haiti was already considered to be a fragile and impoverished state. 78% of Haiti’s 10 million people lived on less than US$2 a day, infant mortality was among the highest in the western hemisphere, and life expectancy reached only 60 years.
The present report deals with pre-earthquake binational relations along the Haitian / Dominican border and with the implication of these patterns for developments along the border in the changed world of the post-earthquake island. The earthquake constitutes a definitive watershed for Haiti. Though nobody yet knows what is in store, post-earthquake Haiti will never be a replica of the country before the earthquake.