cause of hungerThe COVID-19 pandemic is deemed a global health crisis that has resulted in an economic crisis and a hunger crisis too. In the Dominican Republic, Cabarete Sostenible seeks to address the root cause of hunger.

Unemployment Due to COVID-19

Cabarete, Dominican Republic, prides itself on being one of the watersports capitals of the world. Nearly two-thirds of Cabarete’s population depends on the local tourism industry for work and income. These jobs mostly fall under the informal economy.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 60% of the world’s working population were employed in the informal economy. The informal economy is defined by hourly jobs that offer neither a salary nor employee benefits. The pandemic left many people without a regular source of income and without health insurance.

Compared with the bailout packages that the governments of wealthy nations were able to provide to their citizens, the governments of impoverished nations were unable to provide citizens with such economic support. Around the world, NGOs have attempted to assist in providing the support that impoverished governments are unable to provide.

Cabarete Sostenible Addresses the Root Cause of Hunger

Moraima Capellán Pichardo, a citizen of Cabarete, is a supporter of the concept of food sovereignty. The Borgen Project spoke with Capellán Pichardo about the origins of Cabarete Sostenible and the organization’s long-term goals. Food sovereignty, the principle that individual self-actualization is dependent on having enough to eat, is at the heart of Cabarete Sostenible’s mission.

Capellán Pichardo told The Borgen Project that individual NGOs in Cabarete were working independently of each other when the COVID-19 pandemic began. These separate organizations had a common goal so they came together to form a coalition and increase their impact. This coalition became the nonprofit organization, Cabarete Sostenible. Everyone who works with Cabarete Sostenible is a volunteer. The organization works with local food distributors and organic farms and distributes the foodstuff that it receives to struggling families and individuals in Cabarete. This forms the organization’s first response to the hunger crisis.

Although it began as a method to address an acute crisis, Cabarete Sostenible seeks to address the root cause of hunger. Capellán Pichardo indicated that food sovereignty has been on the minds of Cabarete Sostenible’s volunteers and organizers since its inception. “Very early on, we sat down to discuss where we thought Cabarete Sostenible was going in the future. For us, we wanted to make sure that we did not just stick to giving out food because that does not really address the root problem.”

The Concept of Food Sovereignty

Food insecurity means being without reliable access to sufficient and nutritious supplies of food at any given time and is a common reality for citizens of Cabarete. On the other hand, food sovereignty, organizing society in such a manner that every individual has access to producing his or her own food, is a possible solution to food insecurity. “Food sovereignty is tied to land access,” Capellán Pichardo says. “For us, it is important that the first mission that Cabarete Sostenible focuses on is food sovereignty: access to healthy and appropriate food and using the native agricultural land to provide that.”

Food Sovereignty Addresses Food Insecurity

Since COVID-19, many factors have contributed to a rise in food insecurity and extreme poverty worldwide. Mass rates of unemployment have threatened access to food as even the poorest households spend close to three-fourths of their income on food.

Widespread unemployment, combined with unexpected drops in agricultural production, has created an unprecedented crisis. Because of supply line disruptions and trade barriers, often the result of increased health precautions, citizens of the world’s poorest nations are left without access to food. Some of the suffering caused by such disruptions can be mitigated by food sovereignty policies. Perhaps, a societal approach may be modeled after Cabarete Sostenible’s efforts to address the root causes of hunger.

Sustainable Community Solutions to Hunger

Capellán Pichardo is optimistic about the road ahead as she details how the organization has worked with local landowners to collaborate on solutions. The organization has opened the first community garden and is working to partner up to create a community-style farm. All this is work toward creating a social business model. Cabarete Sostenible seeks to address the root cause of hunger by helping to create a sustainable way of living, where food shortages are less likely and future hunger crises are averted.

– Taylor Pangman
Photo: Flickr

Baseball Around The World
Baseball has been known as America’s game since its creation in 1839. It has served as an entertainment outlet for many Americans, bringing about positive feelings of nostalgia and pure competitive joy. As time went on, baseball proved to be a popular sport around the world, allowing kids to chase dreams of home runs and perfect games. With anything long enough to be a bat, and round enough to be a ball, people around the world have found numerous ways to create the game of baseball.

Kids Chasing Their Dreams

Many people in impoverished countries have used baseball as a way to express their competitiveness. With most professional teams coming from the United States and Korea, many kids in impoverished countries dream of one day making it to the biggest professional stage for baseball. For these kids, that starts with the Little League World Series. The Little League Baseball organization has put young kids on the world stage since 1939. Little League teams can represent their region in a world tournament every August. Historically, the United States and China have produced powerhouse teams that dominate consistently. However, every few years, the tournament experiences new young talent from countries like Uganda and Mexico, showing how baseball around the world has been expanding.

In 2012, the Little League World Series tournament said hello to its first team from Uganda. Though the team lacked skill, they made history by appearing in the tournament. Then in 2015, Uganda made its second appearance, showing great improvement since its original appearance. According to Roger Sherman, “Ugandan baseball is young and has faced a lot of obstacles. But these kids have gotten really good really fast, and they aren’t going away any time soon.” The sport has become a staple in Uganda as they continue to build up their baseball communities. Creating leagues and supporting kids in developing countries is one way that baseball has historically helped impoverished communities grow. Baseball around the world has impacted kids, and it continues to do so.

Fighting Poverty With Baseball

More recently, baseball has proven to be a huge supporter of ending poverty around the world. According to Stuart Anderson, 27% of major league players are foreign-born, with the majority of those players coming from the Dominican Republic. About 30% of the Dominican Republic population is living below the poverty line. It is only natural for major league baseball players to use their popularity and skill to support their home countries.

Food for the Hungry, a global nonprofit organization, has teamed up with many major league baseball players to launch the Striking Out Poverty initiative. For the last two years, players like Nick Ahmed of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Dee Gordan of the Seattle Mariners and Jake Flaherty and Michael Wacha both of the St. Louis Cardinals, have dedicated their skills to help raise awareness for countries below the poverty line. Some play for clean water, some play for food donations, some play for farmers and some play to save lives.

How to Help

Anyone can help by donating. Showing support for a team or player’s personal campaign can make a big impact. With each game played, they generate thousands of dollars to donate. With the help of fans across the United States and the world, they can generate even more.

For decades now, baseball has spread its popularity around the world. It is a sport that, played any way possible, provides joy and escape for many people. The sport itself and the professional players have had a positive impact on communities around the world.

Sophia Cloonan
Photo: Flickr

Human Trafficking in the Dominican Republic
Human trafficking is a crime that involves unfair labor practices and sexual misuse of adults and children. Human trafficking in the Dominican Republic is a big problem because of the popularity of the country as a tourist attraction. Some locals and foreign visitors look for the service of young women and children working in the area. A good number of women engaging in the activities are underage.

Female Victims of Human Trafficking

According to the 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report, the Dominican Republic is a Tier 2 country which means that the country does not fully comply with the requirements to end trafficking. For the Dominican Republic to go above and meet the standards that the U.S. Department of State has set, the country must be more aggressive in its efforts to convict more traffickers. Police need more training regarding how to deal with trafficking and work with children on the street.

In the illegal trafficking business, women make up more than half of the slave population globally. Human trafficking in the Dominican Republic involves women who are the victims of abuse and neglect while engaging in sexual exploitation. Women and young girls are the victims of corrupt traffickers and corrupt authority figures in the Dominican Republic who side with the illegal trade and business.

Human Trafficking in the Dominican Republic

Victims of trafficking frequently look for opportunities to become financially independent and make money for themselves or to support their families. Depending on the situation, some victims do not come from the best living environments and want to escape their families.

To combat this, the Dominican Republic has implemented a national anti-trafficking plan. The first one emerged in 2003 followed by a nationwide plan in 2006. The country has seen some success in its efforts to bring justice ever since. For example, the Dominican Republic’s first maximum sentence sent a trafficker to prison for 25 years.

The International Justice Mission

The International Justice Mission (IJM) is an organization that focuses on human rights and law. The mission of the organization is to eradicate forced labor. IJM has worked successfully with the Dominican authorities by bringing justice to the country. A sense of normalcy and stability has returned by removing the criminals in the communities where they were working. IJM provides lawyers to build a case against traffickers that uses testimonies from survivors.

IJM saves victims of trafficking by cracking down on crimes and reporting them to the Dominican police. Additionally, it offers to help survivors find safe living spaces. The victims of these crimes suffer physically and psychologically. The psychological effects of such harm manifest in the long term in the form of mental health issues. IJM has treatment plans in place for government agencies and local organizations that address health, counseling and personal development measures.

Looking Forward

The Dominican Republic has implemented solutions to combat human trafficking in the Dominican Republic. Organizations like IJM are necessary to improve life for survivors of trafficking while making the communities that the crime of trafficking most affects better. Victories are emerging and the good news is that some progress is better than none at all.

– Amanda Ortiz
Photo: Flickr

Festival of MasksCabarete Sostenible began as a response to the COVID-19 crisis by providing emergency food aid to families in need in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. Its Festival of Masks aimed to raise money for further emergency food relief efforts, community farming and educational initiatives for the community.

The Festival of Masks

A silent auction was held through 32auctions, an online forum, on October 30 and October 31. During this 24-hour event, limited edition photo prints of volunteers were auctioned alongside photo prints of the communities and businesses that the organization has helped to support through the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the Festival of Masks fundraiser fell short of its goal, it still managed to raise over $500. The money will be put toward providing meal packs to food-insecure individuals in Cabarete.

Impact of COVID-19 in the Dominican Republic

Before the COVID-19 pandemic shook the foundations of the global economy, the Dominican Republic had experienced steady economic growth. Between 2015 and 2019, the Dominican Republic’s Gross Domestic Product had increased at an average rate of about 6% each year. The Dominican Republic benefitted from the combined force of several crucial domestic industries such as mining, tourism and telecommunications. Foreign investment and remittances also contributed to the country’s economic growth.

The strength of the Dominican Republic’s domestic industries and its connection to foreign capital makes it likely that the country will make a post-pandemic rebound. How soon this resurgence will begin, however, is uncertain. In 2020, the country’s GDP is expected to decrease by over 4%. Additionally, the Dominican Republic’s economy is not expected to significantly reverse course in either 2021 or 2022.

While there is much hope for the health of the Dominican Republic’s economy in the long-term, the next two to three years will be difficult for those who live there. Particularly in places like Cabarete, where close to two-thirds of the local population depends on the tourism industry for employment, many people struggle to meet their basic needs during the pandemic.

Cabarete Sostenible Addresses Food Insecurity

Cabarete Sostenible’s Festival of Masks raised money for food insecure individuals in Cabarete by auctioning limited edition photo prints. The organization also provides food for the community through donations received.

The entire amount of money Cabarete Sostenible receives through donations goes toward food packaging and distribution. Donations of only $4 feed an individual for one week and donations of $15 feed a family of four for one week. With the money Cabarete Sostenible’s Festival of Masks raised, it will be able to feed 147 individuals for a week.

Hope for the Dominican Republic

It is predicted that it will take the next three years for the economy of the Dominican Republic to regain its footing. Until such time, organizations like Cabarete Sostenible and its Festival of Masks work to address food insecurity in the Dominican Republic and ensure the survival of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. With further monetary support, Cabarete Sostenible can have an even greater impact in the area.

– Taylor Pangman
Photo: Flickr

COVID-19 in the Dominican RepublicLike many developing nations, the Dominican Republic suffered massively in several communities, due to COVID-19. While the virus’s impact does not discriminate against social class — the homeless and impoverished are inevitably the most vulnerable. Given that more than 40% of the country’s population lives below the poverty line, the severity of COVID-19 in the Dominican Republic is alarming.

The Statistics: Cases, Deaths and Hospitalizations

As of August 27, 2020, the Dominican Republic has approximately 92,964 confirmed cases and 1,630 deaths. In the nation, “the fatality rate for COVID-19 is 1.79% while positivity is around 29.64%.” Recent reports suggest about 7,000 hospitalizations and 19,600 patients requiring self-isolation. To date, roughly 64,347 patients have recovered.

The World Bank Assists

At the beginning of April 2020, the World Bank responded to a request from the government of the Dominican Republic. This agreement released $150 million to provide funds to help manage and contain the spread of COVID-19 in the Dominican Republic. Despite this financial supplementation, the nation’s cases eventually reached a peak in late July, days after declaring a second state of emergency. On August 18, 2020, the government held a conference called “Plan Para Enfrentar la Emergencia del COVID-19” or “The Plan to Deal with the COVID-19 Emergency.”

Here, the Ministry of Public Health announced that they are supplementing an additional 15,000 million pesos (totaling 66,000 from the original 51,000) toward the public health budget for the months of September–December 2020. The goal of this funding is to prevent an increase in contractions while providing sufficient healthcare attention to those already infected. They have also granted 2,000 previously uncovered Dominicans with health insurance. This statement was further elaborated; supporting that, if they test positive, any Dominican will receive the required medical assistance as needed. To track the spread and provide ample medical care, hospitals will perform 7,000 tests daily, instead of the regularly completed 3,000. They also plan to properly equip ten separate laboratories with PCR testing around the country.

More Governmental Initiatives

Additionally, the Ministry of Public Health has hired and trained 1,000 unemployed medical experts to facilitate treatment in hospitals. Also, they are planning to provide a 20% increase in available hospital beds by August 30, 2020. At the conference, president Luis Abinader urged for cooperation among the entire nation. Besides the school closures, mask requirements and level four travel advisory, the strength of the country against the virus depends on the collaboration of all individuals following mandated protocols.

However, the lack of adherence to guidelines has been noted frequently. Namely, in the less affluent communities, many are not following the strict curfews put in place. Instead, this disobedience leads to overcrowding in police stations; eliminating safe social distancing practices.

Oxfam’s Efforts

Oxfam International, a nonprofit organization committed to aiding developing nations in times of humanitarian crisis, has contributed greatly to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 in the Dominican Republic. Their main effort is to grant financial assistance to those that have been temporarily unemployed due to the pandemic. They are prioritizing this aspect of the crisis because 50% of the population has experienced a cut or complete loss of income. Based on donations, they have been able to provide over 4,000 families with money transfers — enabling them to cover the costs of fundamental needs.

Camila Minerva Rodriguez, the Oxfam program director in the Dominican Republic, explains the additional installment of food voucher initiatives. During one day in northern Santo Domingo, she was able to provide 58 families with food vouchers, helping them afford grocery expenses.

In all, Oxfam’s efforts are aiding one specific, yet essential part of the daily struggles faced by Dominicans, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Samantha Acevedo-Hernandez
Photo: Flickr

Healthcare in the Dominican Republic
Healthcare in the Dominican Republic is among the most advanced in the Caribbean. Despite noteworthy recent progress, it still requires work to improve.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) defines the healthcare system in the Dominican Republic as a social security model with guidance from the principles of universal coverage, compulsory enrollment, solidarity, comprehensiveness of care, a unified system, free choice and gradual implementation. In 2014, the Dominican Republic adopted a model of care based on the Primary Healthcare (PHC) strategy and the Integrated Health Service Delivery Network.

What is Primary Healthcare?

In 1978, the World Health Organization (WHO) defined the PHC strategy as, “Essential health care based on practical, scientifically sound and socially acceptable methods and technology made universally accessible to individuals and families in the community by means acceptable to them at a cost that the community and the country can afford to maintain at every stage of their development in a spirit of self-reliance and self-determination. It forms an integral part of both countries’ health system of which it is the central function and the main focus of the overall social and economic development of the community. It is the first level of contact of individuals, the family and the community with the national health system, bringing health care as close as possible to where people live and work and constitutes the first element of continuing health care process.”

The features of PHC include:

  • Accessibility
  • Person-focused preventive and curative care over time
  • Patient-oriented comprehension and coordination
  • Focus on the community, especially when addressing social determinates of health

The Integrated Health Service Delivery Network

The purpose of the Integrated Health Service Delivery Networks (IHSDNs) is to help in the development of PHC-based health systems, by making a health services delivery that is more accessible, equitable, efficient, of higher technical quality and better fulfills the needs of the citizens.

Integrated health systems networks are the principal operational mechanism of the PHC system. It helps make some of the essential elements of PHC a reality. These elements include universal coverage and access, first contact, comprehensive, integrated and continuing care, appropriate care, optimal organization and management and intersectional care.

In 2015, 65% of the population enrolled in the Family Health Insurance program. Of this group, the subsidized system covered 47.5% and the contributory system covered 52.5%. However, a major gap in the system still exists for a significant portion of the population. According to WHO, 17.6% of the population spend more than 10% of their income on healthcare. It also reported that 4.9% of the population spends more than 25% of their income on healthcare.

In 2011, the PAHO estimated that there were 21.2 doctors and 3.8 nurses per 10,000 people in the Dominican Republic. The National Health Service has 1,450 primary care centers, 1,774 primary care units, 189 specialized health centers including, 13 regional hospitals, 35 provincial hospitals, 122 municipal hospitals and 19 referral hospitals.

Pharmacies’ Role in Healthcare in the Dominican Republic

Pharmacies are abundant in the Dominican Republic with even a small town having as many as 20 pharmacies. Most of these pharmacies will prescribe medications simply by hearing about or seeing the individual’s medical problem.

In 2015, the basic list of essential medications received updates based on WHO’s Model List of Essential Medications. Almost all medications are available over the counter including pain killers, antibiotics, steroids, anti-inflammatory medications and sleeping pills. The only medications that require a prescription are narcotics like morphine. However, some pharmacies will dispense these medications without a prescription even though it is illegal.

The Progress the Dominican Republic Still Needs

The government has implemented a 911 emergency call system. As of right now, it is available from Santo Domingo, east to Boca Chica and west to San Cristobal. It is also available in Santigo and Puerto Plata. It will eventually be available throughout the country.

There is a maternal mortality rate of 92 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2015 in the Dominican Republic, which is alarming in comparison to the 18 deaths per 100,000 live births in the United States. The Dominican Republic also has a mortality rate of 22.9 deaths per 1,000 live births in children under 1 year of age in comparison to a rate of 5.901 deaths per 1,000 live births in the United States.

Other data also shows the need for improvement in healthcare in the Dominican Republic. This includes:

  • In 2012, 65% of deaths in children under 1 were due to disorders beginning after birth. Sepsis was one of the top five leading causes of death in children less than 5-years-old. Children under 1-year-old were at even higher risk.
  • Even though vaccination rates for children under 1 year of age range from 82% to 95%, reports determined that the Dominican Republic had cases of diphtheria and whooping cough in 2015.
  • There was a cholera outbreak in 2011-2012.
  • In 2013, estimates determined that the chikungunya virus would infect 539,000 people.
  • In 2015, the rate of malaria infection was 1.9 per 100,000.

Even though the Dominican Republic has made an effort to improve its healthcare system, there is still more that it needs to accomplish to improve the system. Moreover, it needs to instigate methods to bring down the mortality rates and lower the incidence of diseases like cholera and malaria.

Lynn DeJarnette
Photo: Flickr

SDG 4 in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic has made progress in reaching SDG 4 in the Dominican Republic. To reach this goal, the country aims to achieve inclusive and equal lifelong learning for all in Quisqueya, a nickname for the small Caribbean nation.

The Situation

The Sustainable Development Goals’ site claims that the rate of net primary enrollment is going up with 92.7% of kids attending primary school. However, that rate has been falling since 2015 when it was 93.5%. The country’s education system includes three sections, much like the ones in the U.S.: Pre-school (Nivel inicial), Primary School (Nivel basico) and Secondary School (Nivel medio). For pre-school, only the final year is mandatory for children. Meanwhile, primary school is compulsory for all the kids. However, while the country legally mandates it, schools and authorities do not enforce attendance.

Baseball and Education in the Dominican Republic

In New York City, the Truancy division of the NYPD seeks kids who skip school. The Dominican Republic has no such system in place. Baseball is a big part of Dominican culture and many see it as the only way to get away from the island and onto a better life.

The MLB has a major recruitment presence in the country and many boys leave their schooling to train with MLB recruiters in hopes of reaching the major leagues. However, very few of those kids ever make it to the MLB and do not garner a proper education to carry them through life. Even those boys who are fortunate enough to make it to the MLB end up with limited education and have very little resources to establish a second career after retirement or injury.

In his paper “Children Left Behind: The Effect of Major League Baseball on Education in the Dominican Republic,” Adam Wasch proposes two solutions for this problem. The first is for the MLB to establish an international draft with the same education standard as the American draft so that the international recruits must have at least up to high school education. The other solution is for the MLB to create a Child Labor Corporate Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct would denounce the use of child labor and rearrange the recruitment and training program so that it would not interfere with the children’s education.

Improvements in School Attendance and Literacy

Fortunately, the country’s lower secondary completion rate has been steadily increasing for the better part of the last decade, which bodes well for SDG 4 in the Dominican Republic. Since 2013, when the rate sat at 77.92%, it increased to 89.34% in 2018. This means that more kids are completing at least a Primary School education than ever before. Education has taken more of a focus in the Dominican Republic. In 2016, the literacy rate for youth (15-24 yrs old) was 98.8%, which is a 5.1% difference from the adult percentage where 93.7% of the adult population is literate. Both demographics have been steadily improving throughout the last decade, meaning that not only are kids receiving a better education, the adults are also seeking out improved education.

Poverty in the Dominican Republic

Poverty in the Dominican Republic is on a decline. In 2015, it was 21.70% and decreased three years later to 13.80%. The undernourished population of the country has also reduced. In the one-year span of 2017-2018, the poverty rate decreased by 0.9%. According to the Medina Administration, from 2012-2019, 1.5 million Dominicans left poverty and 650,000 Dominicans left extreme poverty. The middle class jumped from 22.6% to 30% in the same time span. The Administration also claimed that it created 823,389 jobs in those seven years.

The Dominican Ministry of Education receives up to 22.6% of the Dominican Republic’s budget spending, making it a priority of the Dominican Republic’s government in the last few years. In the budget that received approval for the year 2020, the government assigned the Education Ministry more than RD$194,523 million. The state must spend 4% of the GDP on pre-university education.

As the new ruling political party, the Modern Revolutionary Party, settles in, the international stage is looking to the new party to see how it will continue the upward trend of education in a country that has historically struggled with providing proper education to all its citizens. Hopefully, it will continue to help the country on its path to reaching SDG 4 in the Dominican Republic.

– Pedro Vega
Photo: Flickr

SDG 2 in the Dominican Republic
The Sustainable Development Report states that despite the major challenges present in eradicating hunger, the Dominican Republic is moderately improving on its goal of reaching zero hunger. Here are some updates on SDG 2 in the Dominican Republic.

Poverty in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic has reduced poverty from 10.4% to 9.5% in just a year from 2017 to 2018. In 2004, the rate was 24.4%. The decline in these figures shows that the malnourishment rate in the country has gone down continuously over 14 years and that the Dominican Republic can complete the Zero Hunger objective if it continues to sustain its current trend. The malnourishment situation in the Dominican Republic has harmed the children of the island. A joint report from FAO, IFAD, WHO, WFD and UNICEF stated that the delay in growth of children under 5 years old was 7.1% in 2019 while wasting or low weight for height in this age was 2.4%.

Approximately 10% of Dominicans are suffering from malnourishment and chronic malnutrition in kids in poverty-stricken homes. According to a report from the 2030 Agenda, 11.3% of kids in households in the lowest wealth quintile suffer from malnourishment in comparison to the less than 7% national average. The report also stated that “… there is evidence that the productivity and income from small agricultural growers are the lowest in the economy.”

Ways to Reach SDG 2 in the Dominican Republic

In order to accomplish the goal of eradicating hunger in the Dominican Republic, the government, along with the WFP, must “[strengthen] the design and implementation of legal frameworks related to food security, nutrition, sustainable agriculture and disaster risk reduction…” The plan intends that the country will use the “whole of society” method which means “… – involving national and provincial authorities, disaster management agencies, national non-governmental organizations, the International Red Cross and private sector and other institutions – where no one is left behind.”

The WFP has three goals to accomplish this:

  • The Dominican Republic must strengthen and coordinate the public and private sectors in order to eliminate hunger in the country’s most vulnerable population by 2023.
  • The WFP aims to improve the nutrition status of the most nutritionally vulnerable groups by 2023.
  • It also intends to set up national and local systems to improve and resilience to shocks, adapt to environmental challenges and reduce disaster risks among the vulnerable population by 2023.

Hunger in the Dominican Republic

In 2019, the Global Hunger Index ranked the Dominican Republic a 9.2. According to its rubric, this means the country’s level of hunger-related issues is low, an improvement from the turn of the century when the country received an 18.2. That score meant that hunger was a moderate problem on the border of escalating to a serious issue. The index also reported that the mortality rate decreased slightly. After a brief uptick from approximately 8% in 2000 to 11% in 2005, the prevalence of stunting in children under the age of 5 has decreased to approximately 6% in 2019.

In order to reach SDG 2 in the Dominican Republic, it must adapt to a post-pandemic world, where even the most developed countries are experiencing increased poverty and food disparity as the world struggles to adapt to the new reality.

–  Pedro Vega
Photo: Flickr

Poverty Eradication in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is one of the most well-known and most visited countries internationally for tourists in the Caribbean. Although it is a rich area for tourists to travel, the poverty rate remains a major issue. Located in rural areas are many families who do not have proper schooling. They also do not have proper healthcare systems or access to basic sanitation and clean water. In 2018, the poverty rate for the Dominican Republic was 13.80%, a 2.1% decline from 2017. Meanwhile, 13.80% of the population in the Dominican Republic are unable to provide the basic needs for their families or loved ones. This country is still struggling and battling poverty. However, there are many efforts taking place to increase poverty eradication in the Dominican Republic.

Cross Catholic Outreach

Cross Catholic Outreach is a ministry that serves the poor globally by mobilizing churches and individuals to break the cycle of poverty. This organization helps to provide basic needs, such as food, clean water, education, medical support and more. These provisions go to the poorest countries around the globe. In rural areas, new homes are being built, providing safe and sustainable dwelling places for many families by Cross Catholic Outreach. These homes are now able to provide safe spaces and clean areas. As a result, families living in these homes can focus more on providing proper education for their children and seeking the medical care they need. As of 2019, 24 homes underwent construction with three water systems finished.

In addition, the Project, which the Cross Catholic Outreach ministry created, has provided new clean water systems. These systems have a mixture of gravity, electric and solar power to collect clean water. The water distributes to local homes, decreasing the number of waterborne illnesses and other diseases. With this strategy, The Project plans on having a total of six clean water systems that local brigades will construct within the Dominican Republic.

Food for Poor

Additionally, Food for Poor (FFP) is a nonprofit Christian organization. It provides supplies that include medicine, food and other necessities. In 2019, this organization shipped a 50 tractor-trailer cargo of supplies. The supplies contained food, medicine, healthcare and educational resources to the Dominican Republic. FFP built more than 1,500 homes and has assembled over 40 water projects. This organization continues to aid the poverty eradication in the Dominican Republic by initiating community development projects. These projects provide clinics, housing, agriculture, women’s vocational training projects and more.

The Social Protection Investment Project

The Social Protection Investment Project aims to enhance the coverage and effectiveness of social protection in the Dominican Republic. The goal of this project was to enhance and improve educational and health investments to the poorest of people living in the Dominican Republic. Its goal was also to provide identification documents to unidentified Dominicans. The approach that this project took had to do with seeking out poor, undocumented Dominicans to direct them in securing identification documents. With families and individuals living in poverty being registered and identified, they will benefit from programs that aid poverty-stricken Dominicans. This should also lead them to securing educational and health investments.

Furthermore, the Social Protection Investment Project has met many of its goals. The percentage of households living in poverty that were lacking identification documents has reduced from 28% in 2005 to 7% in 2016. In 2012, the poverty status of registered households living in poverty was all certified for participation in programs that include the cash transfer program.

Overall, programs along with organizations are aiding poverty eradication in the Dominican Republic. They build new homes, implement clean water systems and provide necessities. Organizations are continuing to lend a helping hand all while thinking of new strategies to increase poverty eradication in the Dominican Republic.

– Kendra Anderson
Photo: Unsplash

updates on sdg goal 1 in the dominican republicAccording to the Sustainable Development Report, the Dominican Republic is making good progress on eradicating poverty. This is the first of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report states that 0.2 million Dominicans live under the poverty line of $1.90 a day, which is approximately 111 Dominican Pesos (DOM). This is an improvement from 2014, when 4.3 million Dominicans were making less than 111 DOM a day. Though the U.N. considers the Dominican Republic to have completed this goal, challenges remain for its second part. This would require the country to have every working Dominican earn more than $3.30 per day, which equals 187 DOM. Here are some important updates on SDG Goal 1 in the Dominican Republic.

Updates on SDG Goal 1 in the Dominican Republic

According to the report to the 2030 Agenda, the annual growth of real GDP in the Dominican Republic has been 5% annually since the 90’s. Additionally, poverty has declined from 40% in 2003 to 25.5%. The government claims that “Per Capita income has increased in the last decade, placing the country as a high middle-income economy.” Extreme poverty in the Dominican Republic is under 6%.

While financial poverty has improved, there is still multidimensional poverty influencing the small nation. Many residents face issues in public services, housing and regressing to poverty. Furthermore, this newfound economic boon is not distributed equally throughout the land. There are still greater amounts of poverty among kids and teenagers in rural areas and the unemployed.

To combat this, the Dominican government has promised to utilize its public policies to deepen its emphasis on universal social security, health care and education services. The government also wishes to address gender equality in the workforce. This would mean tackling the workplace wellbeing of the most vulnerable of the population, including women, children and those who work dangerous jobs. The government has also focused on reducing unemployment, which went down 2.6% between 2014 and 2017. While these numbers are good overall, women, teenagers and those in low-income housing still struggle to find jobs.

SDG Goal 1 Around the World

These updates on SDG Goal 1 in the Dominican Republic make it clear that this country is ahead of many others in terms of meeting this goal. While the SDG initiative has incentivized countries around the world to improve their citizens’ lives, there is still a lot of work to be done. 736 million people around the world still live in poverty, which means 10% of the global population is impoverished.

However, the number of people living in poverty around the world has decreased drastically since 1990. By the end of the decade, the SDG initiative will have hoped to “reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions.” Overall, the program aims to “ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, to provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries, in particular, least developed countries, to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions.” It is fair to say that the Dominican Republic is on the right track to fulfill this goal.

Pedro Vega
Photo: Flickr