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Can you restart a life with 150 pounds?

A man in a field© InfoWorking in the rice fields isn’t the only thing that keeps farmer Ricky Gumban busy.

He also cares for his mother. she’s 73 and has high blood pressure.

But when Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the Philippines in 2013, the pair could only sit inside – full  of fear.

The house they share on the island of Panay began to shake. And then, suddenly, the roof disappeared. It had been torn off by the storm’s lethal winds.

Ricky and his mother survived the disaster, but Ricky’s rice crop was badly damaged. He would need to grow more as soon as possible.

But without rice to sell, there was no way of getting the money to do so. Ricky was stuck.

So the Red Cross gave him a grant of about £150, which he invested in seeds and fertiliser. Soon, another crop of rice had been planted – and Ricky could look forward to some money coming in again.

Buying insurance pays off

Our work in the Philippines hasn’t only helped people recover from Haiyan – we’re supporting them as they prepare for future disasters.

That’s why we’re helping farmers buy crop insurance, and explaining the benefits it brings. When our work is over farmers will renew the insurance themselves.

The year after Haiyan, a smaller storm – Typhoon Ruby – hit the Philippines. Ricky’s crops were damaged, but this time he had crop insurance. The setback wasn’t as big as it could have been.

Now a new crop of rice is on its way. “I hope for an abundant harvest,” Ricky says.

  • Thanks to our supporters, we are helping people thousands of people affected by Typhoon Haiyan earn a living, get a safe place to live, stay healthy and prepare for future disasters. Local volunteers are at the heart of this work. See more stories from the Philippines.
  • You can help people caught up in emergencies around the world, by donating to the British Red Cross Disaster Fund.


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