Economists believe prolonging the border closure could force Haitians to cross into the Dominican Republic
Santo Domingo.- Five days have passed since the closure of the Dominican-Haitian border, and economists are expressing concerns about the potential economic and humanitarian impact on both countries. Many believe that this measure could have severe consequences not only for the Dominican Republic but also for Haiti, possibly leading to an influx of Haitian citizens into the Dominican Republic.
Economist Andy Dauhajre believes that the Dominican Government’s decision to implement a “close or let the sea in” policy could potentially lead to the collapse of Haiti. This, in turn, might force Haitians to attempt to enter the Dominican Republic in larger numbers. Dauhajre explained, “There are many interests, and at the end of the day, where do we want the Haitians to be, on this side or that side? You can’t cause a sudden collapse; they already have a low standard of living. If my money becomes worthless because I have nothing to buy with it, what am I going to do? What has happened in all parts of the world is that if you don’t vote with your money, then you vote with your feet… what is voting with your feet? Well, I cross.”
Furthermore, Dauhajre pointed out that the border closure has led to an increase in prices for Haitians seeking to cross into the Dominican Republic, suggesting that someone is profiting from this situation.
Antonio Ciriaco, the dean of the Faculty of Economics at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD), described the border closure as a “Lose-Lose” policy for both nations. He noted that although the Dominican Republic has greater economic stability, Haiti relies heavily on imports from its neighbor. Consequently, the closure could exacerbate poverty, food insecurity, and informality in Haiti, increasing pressure on the border.
Ciriaco also highlighted the economic impact, stating that the Dominican Republic is losing between 85 and 86 million dollars in exports to Haiti. Additionally, he mentioned the need for the government to subsidize livestock and poultry producers in the border provinces, which could cost three billion pesos if the closure continues for the next three months.