COVID-19 and Compassion’s Work in the Dominican Republic

An in-depth look at the coronavirus pandemic in the Dominican Republic

Last Updated: 01/14/2021

The Dominican Republic still has the highest COVID-19 infection rate among Caribbean countries and is experiencing a spike in cases. The country has also been battered this year by tropical storms and hurricanes. The government has reported over 170,000 positive COVID-19 cases and 2,400 related deaths as of Jan. 1. Medical care is limited, with some hospitals at or near full capacity. ICU beds are especially limited. A national curfew is in effect, and face masks continue to be required in public.

All Compassion child development centers are closed. Staff members are providing physical and emotional support to families, including the delivery of over 142,000 food packs and 69,000 hygiene kits, while complying with guidelines. They are also working with local doctors to facilitate telehealth calls with families and have helped provide medical support to more than 7,000 individuals. Mentors and tutors are keeping in touch with children and youths through online meetings and social media.

COVID response in the Dominican Republic

A Message From National Staff

How Is Compassion Currently Operating in Dominican Republic?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in the Dominican Republic, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that all children and their families are being checked in on regularly by staff, either in person or by phone, even if the Compassion center is not open for programming. Watch this video for a detailed explanation of how COVID-19 is affecting Compassion centers and how local partners are caring for each registered child during this season.

Are Compassion Centers Open?

Currently, all centers in the Dominican Republic are closed in order to abide by local guidelines. Staff members continue to call and check in on families, and in some communities they are able to visit children while obeying social distancing guidelines. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute over 142,000 food packs and 69,000 hygiene kits to children and their families!

COVID response in the Dominican Republic

child reading IconStory From the Field

For nearly five years, Josue had been collecting rainwater for his family. When it didn’t rain, he would make the long walk to the nearest water source, carrying heavy buckets full of water back to his home. The trip was particularly dangerous on the dark, unlit road where violence often erupted.

On some occasions, even his four children joined him to fetch water so they could haul enough back to last the family for as long as possible.

What had been an inconvenience quickly became critical when the pandemic struck. Fresh, clean water was crucial to staying healthy and clean.

Josue’s eldest son, 11-year-old Abner, is part of the Child Sponsorship Program, and as staff visited Abner’s home to deliver groceries and supplies, they quickly stepped into action. Using critical intervention funds, the church was able to dig a borehole in the courtyard near the family’s home, providing safe and reliable water to Josue and his neighbors.

"I cannot even imagine how this situation would have worsened in the middle of the current pandemic. Water has turned into an even more vital resource due to the need to constantly wash our hands so the virus won't affect us," says Josue. “I cannot imagine what it would have been like to go get water at night because right now in the country there is a curfew. People cannot leave their houses after a certain hour at night, so it would have been impossible for me to fetch water.”

How can I pray for the Dominican Republic?

Pray for churches as they minister to families affected by natural disasters combined with the challenges of the pandemic. For more prayer resources, visit Compassion’s COVID-19 prayer page for prayer guides and a virtual prayer wall.

How Can I Help?

Sponsor a Child in the Dominican Republic
Give to Compassion’s COVID-19 Relief Fund
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