30/10/2021 12:04 AM

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 -- The RM25 million allocated to the Malaysian Family Foundation announced in the 2022 Budget today is to ensure the future of children who lost their parents to COVID-19 is safeguarded and to provide much-needed relief to their families.

Mohd Ariff Hafizan Abdul Razak, an uncle of five children who lost their parents due to COVID-19, expressed his thanks and relief over the support that guarantees a better future for his nephews and nieces.

He currently takes turns with other relatives to take care of the five orphaned siblings - Hannan Humaira Mohd Nasir, three, Hawwas, six, Harraz, eight, Husna Humaira, nine, and Hadrami, 11.

Their father, Mohd Nasir Tahal, died on Aug 11 while their mother, who was Mohd Ariff’s sister, Ida Haryanie Abdul Razak, died on Oct 7 after being treated at the Putrajaya Hospital for COVID-19.

”I am grateful for Budget 2022 announcement as they now have a future and their education is guaranteed, because I know the government will help them at least till they’re 18. We are not from a family with means...their grandparents are old and without any income. So this assistance will help us greatly to bring the children up,” he said when contacted by Bernama today.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said that the government would provide RM25 million to the Malaysian Family Foundation to lead efforts to protect the welfare, education and future of orphans when tabling Budget 2022 at the Dewan Rakyat today.

Mohd Ariff said they would use the assistance as best as possible to prepare daily necessities for the children.

Meanwhile, non-governmental organisation (NGO) Semarak founder Syed Mohd Bakri Syed Ishak said he welcomed the allocation, adding that it was timely as the COVID-19 virus had taken the lives of many parents in the country.

He also felt that NGOs still need to do their best to help although the government had prepared such an allocation.

“If their financial needs have been met, NGOs can assist the orphans from the learning aspect,” he said, adding that education was important as it would help them in determining their future.

Over 4,700 children in the country have lost their parents during the COVID-19 pandemic which began last year.

On Oct 23, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob launched the Malaysian Family Foundation to provide support to orphans till they reached 18 years of age.




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