Photographing the human cost of war

By Ash Kosiewicz
Saleh Hassan al-Faqeh holds the hand of his 4-month-old daughter, Hajar, who died at the malnutrition ward of al-Sabeen hospital in Sanaa, Yemen, November 15, 2018. Photo: REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

Reuters’ pictures of the year reveal the consequences of human action and inaction.

"She was like skin on bones, her body was emaciated.”

These are the words of Fouad al-Reme, a nurse in Yemen. She recalls when 4-month old Hajar arrived at al-Sabeen hospital in Sanaa, conscious but suffering from low oxygen levels. In the picture above, Hajar’s father, Saleh Hassan al-Faqeh, holds her hand after she died at the malnutrition ward on November 15.

The photo was taken by Mohamed al-Sayaghi, a photographer with Reuters. His photo appears alongside 39 others that depict the toll of conflict over the course of 2018 in countries including Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Iraq, and Syria.  

Few are spared its indiscriminate violence—a wounded child rescued in the once-besieged Syrian enclave of Eastern Ghouta; journalists under fire by a bomb blast in Kabul, Afghanistan; the dark blue slippers of a young schoolgirl who went missing after an attack by Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria.

Oxfam believes people should be able to influence the decisions that affect their lives—not only in the countries represented in this collection, but everywhere around the world. We believe that because poverty and conflict is man-made, we can end it. We demand that our leaders in the US and around the world fight to protect the poorest and most vulnerable.

See Reuters' pictures of the year.

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