KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 4,422 children lost a parent or guardian to Covid-19 from March 2020 till Sept 13 this year, with 154 losing both parents, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Of that number, 154 children were orphaned from January to Sept 13 this year.
Women, Family and Community Development minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun(pix) added that the ministry will provide cash aid and support for these children to meet their living needs in accordance with Budget 2021.
Additionally, the ministry will find them suitable replacement families; those without relatives to take care of them will be placed in welfare homes.
Besides that, Rina said the ministry will also provide them counselling services and psychological therapy.
When questioned by Hannah Yeoh (PH-Segambut) on why Rina said last month that 33 children had been orphaned due to Covid-19 but reported today it was 154, the minister replied that the numbers she presented then were those reported to her ministry which had not been combined with other ministries.
“It’s not just the women’s ministry but also across other ministries (to get the accurate number of children affected). We had discussions to integrate data with the Education, Health, Police (PDRM) and National Disaster Management Agency so that no children will be left out,“ she said.
She added immediate cash aid RM1,000 per family, RM200 per child below the age of seven, and RM150 for those above seven year old will be provided monthly to those affected.