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Médecins Sans Frontières

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A potentially catastrophic food crisis in the Sahel region of West and Central Africa could affect as many as one million children. The food and nutrition crisis resulting from a severe drought, threatens the survival of an entire generation of children. Those children in eight countries - Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, Cameroon, Nigeria and Senegal - are at risk of severe acute malnutrition. Sparse rainfall, poor harvests and rising food prices have left many vulnerable and weak, seeking medical attention. Sahel is one of the poorest regions in the world where children already face daunting odds of survival. The current crisis makes their survival even more tenuous. Associated Press photographer, Ben Curtis, documented the conditions in the region. -- Paula Nelson (EDITORS NOTE: We will not be posting Monday, May 14) (32 photos total)
A woman carries her child amidst dusty winds in the desert near Mondo, a village in the Sahel belt of Chad, April 19, 2012. UNICEF estimates that 127,000 children under the age of 5 in Chad's Sahel belt will require lifesaving treatment for severe acute malnutrition this year, with an estimated 1 million expected throughout the wider Sahel region of West and Central Africa in the countries of Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Senegal and Mauritania. (Ben Curtis/Associated Press)

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Brendan Bannon is a photojournalist on assignment for Polaris Images: "I first went to the Dadaab refugee camp, close to the border between Kenya and Somalia, at the end of 2006. Strangely enough, the camp was flooded then. The same parched ground recorded in my photographs was covered by 3 feet of water. Then, people were fleeing from the camp, not fleeing to the camp as they are today. Dadaab has become the largest refugee camp in the world, and Kenya’s fourth largest city: 440,000 people have gathered in makeshift shelters, made of branches and tarps. Experiencing Dadaab again last week was profoundly humbling. I was confronted with deep suffering and need. Slowing down and talking to people, I heard stories of indomitable courage and determination and of making horrible choices. Most of these people have survived 20 years of war in Somalia, two years of drought, and it’s only now that they are fleeing their homeland. They are accomplished survivors. One morning, I was talking to a family of ten. I poured a full glass of water from a pitcher and passed it to a child. He took a sip, and passed it on to his brother and so on. The last one returned it to me with enough left for the last gulp. Even in the camp, they take only what they need to survive and share the rest. What you see on the surface looks like extreme fragility, but it’s actually tremendous resilience and the extraordinary affirmation of their will to live." This post features a collection of Brendan's recent images from Dadaab refugee camp. They tell their own story. -- Paula Nelson (34 photos total)
A young Somali refugee boy and his terminally ill mother, Haretha Abdi at Dadaab refugee camp, near the border of Kenya and Somalia in the horn of Africa. (Brendan Bannon/Polaris Images)

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Baptism, Uganda

Jenn Warren (b.1980, USA) is a documentary and multimedia photographer based in Juba, Southern Sudan, specializing in humanitarian and development projects. Her work has been published in the Sunday Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, BBC News Online and AlJazeera, among others. Clients include a number of NGO and UN agencies, namely Médecins Sans Frontières, UNHCR, UNICEF, USAID, DFID, WFP/PAM, Save the Children, CARE, PSI, ICRC and Amnesty International. Jenn teaches photography, and is proficient in Arabic and American Sign Language. Her photography is exhibited and collected internationally.

About the Photograph:

“This photo is from a project I completed for The Kasiisi Project in Western Uganda. The Kasiisi Project supports rebuilding efforts for local schools in Kyanyawara and Kasiisi, an area near the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo that, until recently, was regularly attacked by LRA rebels. The program also supplies children’s books and uniforms, offers secondary and university scholarships, and has been active in the community for over 15 years. In this photograph, a Kasiisi student is baptized in a tepid pond near the primary school. Religion plays a very important role in this rural community, and children frequently spend their afternoons and weekends at church socializing.”

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Angola 2000

Didier Ruef (b.1961, Switzerland) graduated in Economics from the University of Geneva and later studied photojournalism at ICP in New York. Since returning to Switzerland in 1987, he began working as a photojournalist and has visited all five continents, with a preference for Africa. He was a member of Network Photographers Agency in London from 1991 to 1997 and a founding member of Pixsil from 2002 to 2009. He is currently represented by Cosmos in France, Luz Photo in Italy, Visum in Germany and Bildbyran Silver in Scandinavia. His photographs have been published in Time, The Observer Magazine, Daily Telegraph, Le Monde, among others. He has published several books and has been involved in a worldwide project about man and waste which he plans to publish next year.

About the Photograph:

“I made this photograph in Angola with Médecins Sans Frontières as part of an essay on the waste of war. While walking in the late afternoon between the houses, I came upon the picture I was looking for. Chance may not be the accurate word because I was already in Menongue for a week and had been walking all around town looking for a scene which showed daily life and the side effects of war. I moved closer to the scene and shot a few pictures of an old woman crushing corn in front of her house with a destroyed T72 tank in her courtyard. I tried to talk to her when she took a break, but she could not understand or speak Portuguese.”

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