Pandemic orphans thousands of Peruvian children

i24NEWS

3 min read
A boy wearing a protective face mask holds a candle at the Nuestra Senora de la Merced Catholic church in Lima, Peru, December 3, 2021.
AP Photo/Martin MejiaA boy wearing a protective face mask holds a candle at the Nuestra Senora de la Merced Catholic church in Lima, Peru, December 3, 2021.

Peru has the most Covid deaths per capita in the world with 197,000

According to researchers, Covid orphanhood is a “hidden pandemic,” especially in Peru where an estimated 99,000 children are now left without caregivers due to the virus.

Dubbed ‘Covid orphans,’ these children fell victim to a particularly severe crisis in the South American country, which has the most Covid deaths per capita in the world with 201,770. 

By the end of April 2021, almost 93,000 Peruvian children - more than one in 100 - lost a parent, according to a study by The Lancet.

With more than 200,000 deaths in a population of under 33 million, Covid continues to exacerbate poverty and economic distress in the region.

In an interview with i24NEWS, a correspondent for The Guardian John Barlett said that there are “around 11,000 families and about 99,000 young people in Peru who were left without a parent in the past year.”

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Bartlett explained that there are many initiatives in Peru to make up for the gaps that the government is failing to cover. 

“The Peruvian government did sign through a bid in March last year that gave 200 soles ($50) per month to every child and families left without a caregiver,” he noted.

“Apart from that, the difficulty is institutional capability in Peru. Money isn’t actually arriving to enough families.”

Covid is also not only exacerbating poverty, Bartlett told i24NEWS, “but also other indicators of suffering, such as school attendance” and mental health.

“We’re seeing a very delicate phase [in South America]. We’re lacking the quick data to actually know how many of these cases are omicron, how it is spreading, and random testing isn’t so good here.”