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Karamoja Famine

World Press Photo of the Year, prize singles


The hand of a severely malnourished boy rests in a Catholic monk’s hand in the Karamoja region of northeastern Uganda.

Hunger has been a recurrent problem in the drought-prone region of Karamoja. Due to natural, social, and political causes, periods of famine intensified in the 1970s. The famine of 1980 was the worst in the region’s history at the time. In less than a year, it killed around 20% of the population, including approximately half of all infants. While the famine also reached other districts, Karamoja was by far the worst affected.

Photo Credit: Mike Wells

Mike Wells is a British photojournalist. He started his career at the age of 19 working as a photographer’s assistant where he gained technical knowledge and occasionally shot photographs for the press. He became a freelance photographer in 1974, shooting around the world for Save the Children UK. Wells won the World Press Photo of the Year in 1980.

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