Over 2,500 children orphaned due to COVID-19
VGP – Since the start of the pandemic, 2,532 children in Viet Nam have lost one or both caregivers due to COVID-19, according to Minister of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung.
The minister revealed the figure on November 10 at the ongoing second sitting of National Assembly.
Among the orphaned children, 81 lost both caregivers, he added.
The loss of caregivers can have a detrimental impact on the nutrition, growth and development of children and can put them at risk of neglect, violence and exploitation – particularly young children from low-income families.
The ministry urged localities to prioritize family-based environment for the children by giving them alternative care in the family of their relatives to ensure best benefits for them. Nursing facilities will be considered the last choice.
All children orphaned by COVID-19 have been taken care by their relatives with monthly financial support of VND 1.8 million each from local authorities. The National Fund for Vietnamese Children also provided VND 5 million for children who lost one caregiver and VND 20 million for those who lost both caregivers.
Earlier, children’s charity UNICEF praised the Vietnamese government for its compassion in helping children orphaned because of COVID-19.
Instead of placing children in orphanages, better options are to find suitable families for them, and allow them to remain in their own communities and attend schools with their established network of friends./.
By Hoang Ha