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4,000 Nigerian children orphaned so far by COVID-19 – World Bank

The World Bans says that the much dreaded COVID-19 pandemic that has caused havoc around the World has rendered a staggering 4,000 children in Nigeria orphan.

According to report by the Banks’s Lead Economist, Laura Rawlings, and the Senior Technical Advisor, CDC COVID-19 International Task Force, Susan Hillis titled, ‘For every two COVID-19 deaths, one child loses a caregiver. We must do more to address the orphan crisis,’ said the children left behind have been practically invisible. The report revealed that over 4,100 Nigerian children lost one or both primary caregivers in the same timeframe, while 4,300 lost one or both primary and secondary caregivers.

Consequently, they pointed out that the situation has brought the global toll of orphaned children to two million at the end of June 2021.

They said, “The COVID crisis will leave many unwanted legacies. The world has been closely tracking the COVID-19 death toll, with official mortality counts now reaching over four million people, largely concentrated among adults. The children left behind have been practically invisible. Our estimates of the toll on children left behind, just released, are that for every two people, who die of COVID, one child is left orphaned, facing the death of a parent or grandparent caregiver, who had been living in their home. By the end of June 2021, because of COVID-19, our estimates show that nearly two million children under 18 years had lost a mother, father, and/or grandparent caregiver, who lived in their household.”

Other countries with primary caregiver death rates of at least one per 1,000 children include Peru (10.2 per 1,000 children), South Africa (5.1), Mexico (3.5), Brazil (2.4), Colombia (2.3), Iran (1.7), the USA (1.5), Argentina (1.1), and Russia (1.0).

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Nigeria has the highest number of orphaned children in West Africa.Others in West Africa with more than 1,000 orphaned children include Mali (1,000), Ghana(1,500), Cameroon (2,600) and Senegal (2,400). South Africa currently has the highest number in Africa with 101,700 children orphaned within the period.

The report further that one child was being orphaned every 12 seconds due to a COVID-19-associated death, and the toll was growing, adding that the COVID-19- related deaths had a wide range of effects on the children from economic, developmental to psychological impacts, which will reverberate across generations.

“In addition, over this same time frame, another half a million lost a grandparent caregiver living in their own home. At this rate, one child is orphaned every 12 seconds due to a COVID-19-associated death, and the toll is growing. Our most recent estimates reveal that for every 2 adults that die from COVID-19, 1 child is left without a familial caregiver.”

“Children orphaned by COVID face a constellation of risks, which often arrive with rapid and broad consequences. The threats of poverty, malnutrition, displacement and separation from siblings or other family members, school dropout, depression, violence and child marriage can emerge suddenly from the Pandora’s box of COVID-19,”.

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