Vietnamese wins international photo contest

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Rainy afternoon by photographer Truong Minh Dien shows a woman carrying potatoes to a local market in southern Vietnam in pouring rain

Vietnam's Truong Minh Dien has won an international photo contest highlighting financial inclusion of the poor around the world organized by a World Bank affiliate.

His Rainy afternoon shows a woman carrying potatoes slung in a shoulder pole to a market in southern Vietnam during a downpour. Her earnings help feed her husband and two children.

It won the Grand Prize in the 2013 CGAP Photo Contest, beating 3,890 entries from professional and amateur photographers from 91 countries. The contest is held annually by the Consultative Group to Assist The Poor,.

Through the photographs, CGAP showcases the different ways in which poor households manage their financial lives and how financial inclusion can make the lives of people at the base of the economic pyramid better.

"Photos of society and social inequality can help eliminate poverty by creating social awareness," said Mohammad Rakibul Hasan, the 2010 CGAP Photo Contest Winner and guest judge for 2013.

A panel of four judges appreciated Rainy Afternoon for the way it thoughtfully depicted the resilience of low-income entrepreneurs in Vietnam. "The photo really captured a great moment," Hasan said.

In addition to the compelling story behind the winning image, the judges felt that it was technically excellent. "It takes a disciplined photographer to step back and take a picture like this," Stelios Varias, a senior photographer and editor at Thomson Reuters and one of the four judges, said.

"It's incredibly hard to get a good shot in the rain."

The Grand Prize is a US$2,000 gift certificate for photography equipment.

Four other entries from Vietnam also featured prominently among the winners and finalists.

The Gold Life by Vo Chi Trung was selected as the Regional Winner for East Asia and the Pacific.

Entries by Van Bang Vo, Tran Bao Hoa, and Vao Giang Tran were among the finalists.

For the second year, a popular vote on determined a People's Choice winner -- Talented Nesma, submitted by Mohamad Gouda of Egypt, which depicts a woman who used a microfinance loan to set up a painting and embroidery business.

The photo received 1,236 votes, nearly 400 more than the next most popular one.

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