Archive for June 10th, 2009

The Power of Photography

According to Pakistani authorities and UNHCR, 3 million Internally Displaced People [IDPs] have now been registered as a result of the ongoing operations in Swat, Buner, and Lower Dir districts. As the military offensive enters its sixth week, the humanitarian crisis continues to worsen, partly due to host family fatigue and an easing of government-enforced curfew restrictions in the conflict areas. According to Relief Web, on June 8, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that IDP camps received approximately 1,800 new families between June 5 and 7 alone. As I [and many others] have emphasized [see past CHUP posts on the IDP situation], we need to continue to raise awareness about this issue and increase support, [visit The Swat Plea to find ways you can help].

Film and photography are incredibly powerful mediums in raising awareness and humanizing social and political issues, and I found this Boston Globe series of images entitled, “Children of Pakistan,” to be especially moving. Thanks to my friend who passed on the piece, which focuses on the children impacted by Pakistan’s humanitarian crisis. [You can view the series in its entirety here.] Below are what I found to be some of the most poignant and striking photographs:

Children wait in line for food for hours at a camp in Swabi [Getty Images]

Children wait for food at a camp in Swabi, Getty

A young girl peers over part of a makeshift tent in Swabi [AP Image]

A young girl peers over part of a makeshift tent in Swabi

Displaced children memorize the Quran at a madrassa in a camp [AP Image]

Children memorize the Quran in a madrassa at a camp, AP

A young girl collects water from a truck

A girl collects water at an IDP camp

A girl waits for her turn for food at a camp in Mardan

A young girl waits for food at a camp in Mardan, AP

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