The pandemic has indeed led to a large amount of devastating effects towards individuals from all walks of life. Probably, the ones who were the most affected by the pandemic are the younger folk of the country — children! Now, these individuals did not just miss out on a year’s worth of online education, they have also been subject to some negligence and abuse in the hands of their parents. Well, here’s another shocking statistic. A total of 4,422 children lost a parent or guardian as a result of Covid-19 with 154 of them ending up as orphans after the loss of both parents. This was cited by the Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun and took into count the statistics of up to 13th September 2021.
According to the Malay Mail, this was a massive increase compared to in August when the Ministry had only identified 33 displaced children. A huge rise, indeed! Well, when talking about tackling this issue, the ministry has taken the initiative to provide assistance and support to meet the living needs of these children and their respective guardians. Financial assistance is channeled through the immediate assistance fund and children’s assistance from RM150 to RM1,000 per family. Apart from this, counselling services were also provided to track recovery aspects and emotional stability of these children to ensure that they can get back on their feet. The 273 counsellors from the Social Welfare Department (JKM) will be responsible for providing counselling to these children.
As for the monetary aid, the government has also 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. These children would be taken care by their heirs or relatives based on the provisions under Section 17 of the Children’s Act 2001. In the case where there is none, the children will be placed in any of the seven child protection institutions under JKM throughout the country.
Here’s the list of institutions involved:
- 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
We really hope these children receive an unconditional amount of support and monetary aid from the government. Losing parents at such a young age is indeed saddening because there’s no one to lean on for support unless the children have supportive family members.
Regardless, these were lives that were lost due to the incompetency of the government in handling the pandemic. Hopefully, they learn from their mistakes.
Source: The Rakyat Post