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At a glance: Germany

Danish photographer Jan Grarup wins top prize in UNICEF Photo of the Year competition

UNICEF Image: Geneva: Photo of the Year 1st prize
© Jan Grarup
Jan Grarup’s winning photograph shows Rahila, 5, receiving medical treatment for serious injuries she sustained in the devastating October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan.

BERLIN, Germany, 19 December 2006 – Danish photographer Jan Grarup is the winner of the UNICEF Photo of the Year international competition held by the German National Committee for UNICEF.

Now in its seventh year, the competition honours photographers who have captured the spirit and plight of the world’s children with high artistic and journalistic standards.

More than 100 photographers from around the world submitted their work, for a total of 1,034 photographs. Mr. Grarup’s winning photo shows Rahila, a five-year-old girl receiving medical treatment in the aftermath of the devastating October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan.

UNICEF Image: Geneva: Photo of the Year 2nd
© Shehzad Noorani
In Shehzad Noorani’s second-prize photo, Hajira, 8, takes a break from work with her three-year-old sister Mumtaz on her back in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

‘How much resilience children have’

“The UNICEF Photo of the Year 2006 is a symbol of survival,” said Eva Luise Köhler, patroness of UNICEF Germany, at the award ceremony in Berlin.

“The girl’s smile is an expression of gratitude to all. It should encourage all of us not to forget children in need, even when they are no longer the focus of media attention,” continued Ms. Köhler.

Mr. Grarup took the photo of Rahila about three weeks after the earthquake in Muzzafarabad, Pakistan. She was one of the many seriously injured girls and boys at the children’s ward of the local hospital.

“Her smile amid all the grief and despair had a great impact on me,” said Mr. Grarup. “This little girl shows just how much resilience children have.”

This is not Mr. Grarup’s first win, however. He received the same honour once before, in 2002.

UNICEF Image: Geneva: Photo of the Year third prize
© Hanna Polak
Hanna Polak received third-prize for her photo of homeless children in Moscow.

Images from Dhaka and Moscow

The winner of the second prize is Shehzad Noorani, a US-based photographer, who has travelled around the world working on assignments for UNICEF and other agencies. His winning photo shows Hajira, 8, taking a break from work in Dhaka, Bangladesh, with her three-year-old sister Mumtaz on her back. The photo is included in ‘The Children of Black Dust’, a collection of Mr. Noorani’s photos documenting the lives of working Bangladeshi children.

Polish photographer Hanna Polak received the third prize. Her work is focused on the homeless children in Moscow, living underground among sewage tunnels and heating pipes. In Russia each year, an estimated 30,000 children seek refuge on the streets to escape violence in their day-to-day lives.

The winning photos were chosen by a panel of experts, including the acclaimed photographer Klaus Honnef as jury chairman. Honourable mention awards were also given to nine photographers who captured the images of children in a wide variety of locales, from the streets of Kinshasa, DR Congo to the conflict zones of Afghanistan.



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