2002 Photo Contest, World Press Photo of the Year

Erik Refner

for Berlingske Tidende

07 June, 2001

The body of a 1-year-old boy who died of dehydration is prepared for burial at Jalozai refugee camp in northwest Pakistan. According to Muslim tradition, the male family members wrap the child’s body in a white funeral shroud. In this case it was the child’s father, his uncle and an imam. The family, originally from North Afghanistan, had sought refuge from political instability and the consequences of drought in Pakistan. At the time, nearly one-fourth of the world’s refugees were from Afghanistan.

Decades of political instability and drought in Afghanistan had driven tens of thousands of people into neighboring Pakistan, even before the US invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001. Jalozai was one of the largest refugee camps, with up to 80,000 people living in appalling conditions, many dying of dehydration and disease. It was closed in February 2002. Viewers told the photographer that the sensitive images, giving a clue to conditions rather than being brutally graphic, had a powerful impact.

About the photographer

Erik Refner

After 20 years behind the camera, Erik Refner has now devoted his career to helping photographers. He is the CEO of IDIP.Agency, an organization that finds and protects photograp...

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