More than 4000 children have lost a parent or guardian due to the coronavirus.
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A total of 4,422 children lost a parent or guardian as a result of Covid-19 with 154 of them ending up orphaned, according to Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun who cited the stats up to 13 September 2021.
Based on reports from Malay Mail, this was a massive increase compared to in August when the Ministry had only identified 33 displaced children.
Of that number, 154 became orphans due to the loss of both their mothers and fathers. In this regard, the ministry has taken the initiative to provide assistance and support to meet their living needs.Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun via Malay Mail
Ministry taking action to help Covid-19 orphans
She said that financial assistance is also channeled through the immediate assistance fund and children’s assistance from RM150 to RM1,000 per family besides providing counselling services.
Bernama quoted the Minister who said that her Ministry will keep track of recovery aspects and emotional stability of these children to ensure that they can get back on their feet.
Rina said a total of 273 counsellors from the Social Welfare Department (JKM) will be responsible for providing counselling to these children.
Government giving out more monetary aid for caregivers
Apart from counseling, Rina said her ministry through JKM would identify heirs or relatives who could take care of them based on the provisions under Section 17 of the Children’s Act 2001.
To help ease the burden of the caregivers, Rina said the government had set up an Immediate Relief and Child Assistance Fund by giving out RM250 a month for children under seven and RM150 a month for children aged seven and above.
For assistance for one family, she said the government had announced a maximum rate increase from RM450 a month to RM1,000 a month.
If there are no heirs or relatives who can take care of them, the children will be placed in any of the seven child protection institutions under JKM throughout the country.
The institutions involved are:
- Rumah Kanak-Kanak (RKK) Pokok Sena, Kedah
- Taman Sinar Puteri (TSP) Batu Gajah, Melaka
- TSP Cheras
- Rumah Budak Lelaki (RBL) Melaka
- RKK Mini Kelantan
- TSP Kota Kinabalu
- TSP Kuching
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