Rina Harun: 154 children orphaned due to Covid-19

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun speaks to the media after visiting the family of robbery victim Siti Nur Azizah Syafriadi at the People’s Housing Project in Beringin, Kuala Lumpur, September 2, 2021. — Berna
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun speaks to the media after visiting the family of robbery victim Siti Nur Azizah Syafriadi at the People’s Housing Project in Beringin, Kuala Lumpur, September 2, 2021. — Berna

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 — Women, Family and Community Development minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun today said that there are 4,422 children who have lost a parent, parents or guardian due to Covid-19 up to September 13, 2021.

She said 154 of them became orphans as they have lost both parents to Covid-19. 

Rina said these children will be placed in welfare homes and replacement families while aid is given to them in accordance with what was stated in the Budget 2021 said Rina.

She said this was a massive increase compared to in August when her ministry had only identified 33 displaced children due to Covid-19 related fatalities.

When questioned by Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh as to why the numbers were so high and what constitutes someone being in this category, Rina said they had gathered data from other ministries as well.

“When I referred to the kids I meant not just the women’s ministry but also across other ministries. We had discussions with the Education, Health, Police and National Disaster Management Agency and collated all the data so no kids would be left out.

“The usual welfare aid is still ongoing for all other non-Covid-19 related issues and we are also affording the parents or guardians the same help,” she said in reply to Hannah’s question during Parliament today.

Apart from that, Rina said cash aid will be given to the parents or guardians of these children.

“If the son or daughter in the family was the main breadwinner and is now deceased, we will extend aid to them as well,” she said. 

Rina said in Budget 2021, the allocation for kids below the age of seven is RM200 per person while those above seven will get RM150 per person per month.

“The aid per family is at RM1000 per family. Counselling sessions will also be provided for those affected,” she added. 

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