One in 8 births worldwide this year occurred in a conflict zone, amounting to more than 16 million babies, UNICEF said Thursday.

The data counts births in countries containing conflict, such as South Sudan, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, or that occur as migrants travel to escape conflict zones. The U.N. organization released the photos above along with the updated data, to show the conditions children born into conflict experience.

“Every two seconds, a newborn takes its first breath in the midst of conflict, often in terrifying circumstances and without access to medical care,” Executive Director Anthony Lake said in a statement. “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?”

More than 200,000 children applied for asylum to E.U. countries between January and September of 2015, according to UNICEF.

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Write to Julia Zorthian at

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