"We hope that everybody can be a substitute caretaker, can provide the same amount of love to these children, especially since the number of deaths has continued to increase even now," the ministry's child protection deputy, Nahar, said in a press statement received here on Saturday.
He drew attention to other problems that have emerged as a consequence of children losing their parents during the pandemic, namely economic issues, caretaking issues, and the psycho-social impact of losing parents.
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"To this day, we are still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic that has not only affected our health but now there are children who have lost both of their parents. There are 20 thousand children whose data are continuously being processed and recorded by the government," he informed.
"Because this number affects the children under the age of 18 who are left behind by one or two of their parents," he added.
The government has continued to keep track of children aged under 18 who have lost their parents during the pandemic by comparing the death data with the population data from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Home Affairs, he said.
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The government is welcoming both civilians and institutions to report and file cases on such children, he said adding, one platform that can be used for the purpose is the Women and Children Protection RapidPro system.
Earlier, National Commission for Child Protection chairperson Arist Merdeka Sirait had urged regional governments to look after children orphaned by COVID-19 by providing social rehabilitation and assigning foster families for them.
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