|Alice Smeets is the winner of the UNICEF Germany Photo of the Year. Her picture shows a girl in Cité Soleil, the largest slum in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.|
BERLIN, Germany, 18 December 2008 – Belgian photographer Alice Smeets is the winner of the UNICEF Germany Photo of the Year. Her picture shows a girl in Cité Soleil, the largest slum in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, wearing a clean white dress and ribbons in her hair, despite being surrounded by squalor.
"The photo shows us the courage and energy of a little girl who is growing up in the face of adversity. Children from the poorest backgrounds often demonstrate great strength," said UNICEF patroness and German First Lady Eva Luise Köhler at the award ceremony in Berlin. "The UNICEF Photo of the Year is a plea to heed and support these children."
Alice Smeets, 21, is the youngest winner in the history of the contest, which began in 2000. This year, international experts put forward 1,450 photos by 128 photographers from 31 countries.
|Israeli photographer Oded Bality of the Associated Press won second prize for his photo, which shows survivors of May's earthquake in Sichuan, China, as they queue for food.|
The jury – chaired by professor of photography theory Klaus Honnef – chose the first, second and third place winners, as well as the 11 'honourable mentions'.
Israeli photographer Oded Bality of the Associated Press took second prize. His photo was taken days after the catastrophic earthquake in Sichuan, China, in May this year. The photo shows survivors in a camp near the city of Mianzhu as they queue for food.
Third place went to Hungarian photographer Balazs Gardi, VII Network, Alexia Foundation, for his photo of a man in northwest Afghanistan who is holding an injured child in his arms.
|Third place went to Hungarian photographer Balazs Gardi, VII Network, Alexia Foundation, for his photo of a man in northwest Afghanistan holding an injured child in his arms.|
Mr. Gardi calls the series that he took in Korengal valley in Kunar province, 'Collateral Damage'. His work demonstrates that the region is one of the most dangerous places in the world for civilians, who are often accidentally or intentionally the targets of violence.
UNICEF Germany presents its award to photographers who document, in an outstanding manner, the personalities and life circumstances of children around the world. The competition is supported by GEO magazine and financed by Citibank Germany. The winner receives a commission for a photo essay in GEO.