The Dominican Response to the Haiti Earthquake
November 16, 2011
In the immediate aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the Dominican Republic launched a massive cross-border emergency assistance mission, providing critical medical assistance, logistics support, and humanitarian aid. In so doing, the Dominicans served as vital first responders to the crisis, reaching earthquake victims well before the arrival of any other international actors.
Not only has the Dominican response to the Haiti earthquake had an impact on relations between the two countries, it has helped awaken the Dominican Republic to the risks posed by natural hazards. In particular, it underscored the need to think holistically about disasters and to minimize social vulnerabilities. It has also demonstrated the importance of self-help capabilities in a mega-crisis and highlighted both the strengths and weaknesses of the country’s procedures for managing national disasters.