Photo of Agent Orange girl wins UNICEF contest

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An American photographer has won first prize at UNICEF's "Photo of the Year" with a photo of a Vietnamese Agent Orange girl from Da Nang.

Ed Kashi's photo "Agent Orange's Enduring Legacy" shows 9-year-old Nguyen Thi Ly standing with her face deformed by the toxic chemical.

The photo has made good use of light and darkness to emphasize the disabled girl's desire for a normal life, said a UNICEF respresentative.

Taken in July this year, the photo shows the consequences of the Vietnam War that ended 35 years ago.

Ly's grandfather was a Vietnam War veteran and her mother and aunt also had deformed faces.

Vietnam has an estimated three million Agent Orange victims.

More than 7.5 million liters of the defoliant, which contains the deadly substance dioxin, was sprayed in Vietnam between 1961 and 1971 by the US army.

The chemical is responsible for several ailments including severe congential deformities and disabilities.

Kashi has been focusing on the smiles and peaceful moments of the children and women affected by AO in Vietnam. 

The 53-year-old member of VII photo, an online project gathering leading photojournalists to show photographs from conflict zones worldwide, has become the 11th winner of UNICEF annual competition.

A total of 1,263 photos were sent in this year from 33 countries. The second prize was won by Iranian photographer Majid Saeedi for his work on Afghan refugee children in Pakistan.

Bangladeshi photographer GMB Akash won the third prize for his photo feature on child prostitutes in his home country.

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