July 21, 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in an estimated 1.5 million (15 lakh) children facing the loss of a parent or a caregiver (a grandparent or other older relative in their home), including over a million who lost one or both parents, according to a global study to be published in The Lancet.


  • In India, an estimated 1.19 lakh children lost a primary caregiver — one or both parents, or one or both custodial grandparents. Among them, 1.16 lakh lost one or both parents.

  • Globally, from March 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021, the study estimates that 11.34 lakh children lost a primary caregiver (at least one parent or custodial grandparent). Including other co-residing grandparents (or other older relatives), the total is 15.62 lakh children, of whom over 1 million (10.42 lakh) lost one or both parents.

  • The estimates for India indicate an 8.5-fold increase in the numbers of children newly orphaned in April 2021 (43,139) compared to March (5,091).

  • Mexico (1.41 lakh) and Brazil (1.30 lakh) have the highest number of children who have lost a primary caregiver, followed by India. The US is another country where over a lakh children have lost a primary caregiver.