1 in 8 babies were born in conflict zones in 2015. Here's what they face

A UNICEF report indicated 16.6 million babies were born in conflict zones this year. Here are more startling statistics compounded with that.
Dec 21, 2015

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  • A new UNICEF statement released last week says babies being born in meek circumstances across the globe happens in second spans.

  • "Every two seconds, a newborn takes its first breath in the midst of conflict, often in terrifying circumstances and without access to medical care," UNICEF executive director Anthony Lake said. "Too many children are now starting their lives in extreme circumstances — from conflict to natural disasters, poverty, disease or malnutrition. Can there be a worse start in life?"

  • The actual figure sits at nearly 16.6 million babies born in conflict zones in 2015, Rick Gladstone wrote for The New York Times.

  • "The number has risen by more than 125,000 from 16.4 million in 2014 to 16.6 million this year," Charlie Atkin wrote for The Independent.

  • And Julia Zorthian noted for Time that's 1 in 8 births that occurred worldwide.

  • Areas where mothers faced "particularly acute" risks included Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan and Syria, the Times reported.

  • The Independent also noted that children born in these conflict-affected countries are more likely to die before five years of age. Long-term negative byproducts also include "the potential to experience extreme, or 'toxic,' stress, which can inhibit long-term emotional and cognitive development."

  • Newsweek wrote about the trials of refugee and asylum-seeking mothers-to-be from Africa and the Middle East in particular.

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  • Chris Tidey, a UNICEF representative, told Newsweek pregnant refugees' situations up the stakes: They must decide whether to stop and seek medical help and risk being detained or continue to Western Europe despite the exhaustion pregnancy brings.

  • "The issue is not of capacity, it is more to do with the nature of the way people are moving," Newsweek quoted Tidey as saying. "People are putting their health at risk because they don't want to get trapped and move on as quickly as possible."

  • More people are displaced now than any time since World War II, The Independent indicated.

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Payton Davis is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.

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