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The Financial Times launched its Seasonal Appeal in aid of International Rescue Committee at a photography auction in London this week.

The evening raised £50,000, which will be doubled to £100,000 through a pledge of match funding from the UK government.

Leading international photographers donated lots for the sale at the Getty Images Gallery, which were auctioned on Wednesday night by Adrian Biddell from Sotheby’s.

Steve McCurry’s “Afghan Girl with Hands on Face” attracted the top bid of the night at £8,000.

A photograph of Lucian Freud and his then-wife Caroline Blackwood at Coombe Priory in April 1956, courtesy of The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby’s, sold for £7,000.

Other works in the auction included images by Tom Hunter, Tim Page and Rankin, and a limited edition Kate Moss photograph, signed by the model, taken by the late Corinne Day.

Proceeds from the auction will go to the FT’s 2014 Seasonal Appeal on behalf of IRC’s humanitarian work.

The charity, founded by Albert Einstein in 1933 to rescue German families facing Nazi persecution, now works in more than 40 countries, from Myanmar to Zimbabwe, providing relief after tsunamis or building long-term health clinics.

Steve McCurry's 'Afghan Girl with Hands on Face' © FT

In 2014, the IRC reached 14m people — among them, 4m Syrian refugees.

David Miliband, president and chief executive officer of IRC, said: “It was a real privilege to have so many of the world’s most renowned photographers donate truly striking and powerful images for the FT Seasonal Appeal auction.

“The IRC is immensely thankful to the many generous bidders who raised £50,000, which will be doubled thanks to UK government support, to ensure the IRC is able to reach even more people whose lives and livelihoods have been shattered by conflict and disaster.”

Last year FT readers raised £3.1m to support of World Child Cancer.

For donations to this year’s Seasonal Appeal, go to: www.rescue-uk.org/ft

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