Poverty December 17, 2015 | 3:26 pm

Batey Relief Alliance launched relief for deportees; gets street named

Santo Domingo. – As aresult of the application of a 2014 Dominican Republic’s immigration law,hundreds of thousands of undocumented Dominicans of Haitian descent and Haitianmigrants living in the country are now at risk of being deported to Haiti. “Thesituation has produced panic and fear among many who have gone into hiding toavoid deportation and those who have fled across the border to Haiti to avoidthreats or harassment,” said Ulrick Gaillard, BRA’s CEO.

In response to thisunfortunate event, the Batey Relief Alliance (BRA) mobilized some of itsstrategic partners such as the U.S Agency for International Development(USAID), Procter and Gamble (P&G), Vitamin Angels, Direct Relief and Week of Compassion and launched a reliefoperation called “Act of Compassion” covering four Dominican border regions(Jimani, Pedernales, Elias Pina and Dajabón), four provinces (Monte Plata, SanPedro de Macorís, Santo Domingo and Barahona) and more than 70 deep ruralcommunities, including the impoverished sugarcane plantations enclaves known as“bateyes”. “Individuals who require immediate or ongoing medical care forchronic conditions and infectious diseases, and need of food, will foregomedical attention. Avoidance of medical treatment, such as HIV antiretroviral,accompanied with the lack of nutrition, directly threatens the health offamilies and communities,” added Gaillard.

During the six-monthhumanitarian intervention, which started in July 2015, BRA deployed dozens ofits field personnel and volunteers, 50 community health promoters, and mobilized12local partner grassroots groups to provide 300,000 multivitamin tablets,300,000 water purifier packets, 1.9 million servings of food, Antiparasiticdrugs and basic medical attention to 5,000 people, especially those who arevulnerable and health at-risk, including pregnant/nursing women, children, theelderly and people living with HIV and AIDS. Recipients also received freehealth crisis prevention education, voluntary HIV testing and counseling andvision evaluation. “Special attention was extended to those who are health andnutritionally at-risk, extremely poor, severely malnourished, very sick, and/orabandoned,” added Gaillard.

BRA is now evaluatingthe possibility of expanding the current humanitarian assistance effort fromthe Dominican Republic into Haiti’s border community of Anse-a-Pîtres wheremore than 3,000 deportees have been living in unsanitary conditions inmakeshift settlement camps without access to basic medical care, food or cleandrinking water.

BRA gets new streetname in Dominican Republic.

Monte Plata, DominicanRepublic. – On August 28, 2015, the Dominican government, through the MunicipalDistrict of Don Juan, Monte Plata province, passed a resolution unanimouslynaming a new street after the Batey Relief Alliance—“Calle Batey ReliefAlliance (BRA)”. Members of the voting and signatory District boardacknowledged that the gesture is in recognition of the organization’shumanitarian work on behalf of the Dominican Republic’s poorest and mostvulnerable populations since 1998.

The board added thatBRA is a non-profit, humanitarian entity that has shown great solidarity andcooperation with all people living in the country, and, as a result, deservesthe utmost respect and recognition that is now receiving from all segments ofthe society whether in the urban slums, rural communities, bateyes or borderlocalities, especially in the areas of healthcare, food security, education andcapacity building.

The board recognized thatits acknowledgment also extended to BRA’s founder, Ulrick Gaillard, whom hasworked tirelessly to bring help to the communities since he’s first arrived inthe country.

Supported by law #176-07 of the National District and municipals, the District of Don Juan votedon August 28, 2015 to name the new street, “Calle Batey Relief Alliance (BRA)”situated in Batey Cinco Casas, off highway Don Juan, province Monte Plata.

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