A Chinese farmer quietly starves in the streets of Hengyang, Hunan Province, where he has come to find food in 1945.
A Chinese farmer quietly starves in the streets of Hengyang, Hunan Province, where he has come to find food. (c. 1945–1948).
S-0801-0010-0001-00028, UNRRA.

A few beans fortunately found in a filthy gutter of Hengyang will be the only meal this Hunan child has had in three days.
A few beans fortunately found in a filthy gutter of Hengyang will be the only meal this Hunan child has had in three days. (c. 1945–1948). S-0801-0010-0001-00027, UNRRA.

These two images were obtained from UNRRA (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration) which was originally established by agreement of 44 nations on 9 November 1943; operations came to an end in the latter part of 1946, with the last staff appointment terminating 31 March 1949. The purpose of UNRRA was to “plan, co-ordinate, administer or arrange for the administration of measures for the relief of victims of war in any area under the control of any of the United Nations through the provision of food, fuel, clothing, shelter and other basic necessities, medical and other essential services” with a Director-General to serve as chief executive and administrative officer who was responsible for approximately 25,000 staff worldwide and UNRRA headquarters being established in Washington, D.C., while the European Regional Office was set up in London. ¶ Out of many thousands of UNRRA images these two stood out for me mainly due to the level of human suffering inflicted by war upon innocent civilians indiscriminately, and them being targets of collateral damage regardless of their ages. In both instances the surrounding people are preoccupied with their issues and not much attention is paid to such obvious pain and despair.

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