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Give us Your Poor, Your Rejected”¦ Pineapples

Filipino farmers, fishers, craftspeople, and business owners are getting back to work as the recovery from Typhoon Haiyan continues. Photo: ACT/Paul Jeffrey

February 13, 2014

By Simon Chambers

PWRDF has contributed $100,000 to the Episcopal Church of the Philippines for their disaster response project which is supporting farmers, artisans, and others to rebuild their businesses in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.  PWRDF has also announced a total of $500,000 to rebuild homes and livelihoods through the ACT Alliance’s projects in the Philippines.

As the weeks and months go by, PWRDF is continuing to work in the Philippines, but our focus has shifted from providing the immediate essentials of food, water, clothing, and shelter to rebuilding communities and livelihoods.

Typhoon Haiyan’s effects are still being felt by farmers in the Philippines.  The storm affected the pineapple crop, leading to many fruits not being fully grown and therefore appealing to shoppers at the market.  This is where the ECP comes in.  They have purchased a truck load of undersized pineapples from farmers in the typhoon-affected region near Leyte to process into pineapple jam.  “The size of the fruit does not matter at all.  In fact, one of the strengths of the ECP’s processing activities is that they make use of agricultural products that do not meet the discerning market’s size requirements and thus enable the farmers to earn even from such so-called “˜rejects’,” the ECP said in a report this week.

Purchasing products from people in the affected regions is an important way of rebuilding livelihoods with dignity in the long-term response to disasters.   Buying something that disaster-affected people produce helps them to rebuild their own confidence in themselves, to put money back into the economy, and to kick-start businesses and farming in the area again.

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