Over 16 Million Children Born in Conflict Zones in 2015 - UNICEF

Business | December 17, 2015, Thursday // 14:18|  views

A Syrian woman and her baby reacts after members of Turkish Coastal Guard ship UMUT captured them on a boat after they attempted to reach Greek Island Chios at the Agean Sea in Cesme district near Izmir, coastal city of Turkey, early 10 December 2015. Pho

According to the latest figures of UNICEF, which were released on Thursday, more than 16 million children were born in conflict zones this year.

This means that one in eight of all births occurring worldwide this year took place in a conflict zone.

UNICEF estimates that every two seconds a newborn takes its first breath in the midst of a conflict, often in terrifying circumstances and without access to medical care.

Newborn children and their mothers face enormous risks in conflict-ridden countries such as Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen or on dangerous journeys to flee hostilities.

Pregnant mothers are in danger of giving birth without medical assistance and in unsanitary conditions.

Their children are more likely to die before reaching their fifth birthday and to experience extreme or "toxic" stress, which could have long-term effect on their emotional and cognitive development.

However conflicts are not the only extreme circumstance newborn children have to face, with babies increasingly vulnerable to natural disasters, poverty, disease and malnutrition.

More than 200 000 children applied for asylum in the EU in the first nine months of 2015, adding to the 30 million children across the globe forced from their homes by 2014 due to war, violence and persecution.

This is the largest number of displaced people since the end of the Second World War.

More than a quarter of a billion children or one in nine live in conflict zones.

More than half a billion children live in areas where flooding is common, while 160 000 live in zones prone to drought.

Although children account for roughly a third of the world population, they represent almost half of all people living in extreme poverty.

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Tags: UNICEF, children, conflict, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, south sudan, Yemen, central african republic, poverty, disease, malnutrition, war


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