The Leading Causes of Orphans Today

By Angela Joyce

War, Conflict and Natural Disasters

There are roughly 153 million children that are Orphans Worldwide. War, conflict, and natural disasters have been the leading culprit over the past century. According to UNICEF, 1 in 4 children live in a war and conflict zone. Wars and conflict lead to civil unrest, and as a result, many children lose one or both parents. Not only are parents lost, but child welfare systems are often compromised leaving children in a weak position to receive the care they require. This is especially true in areas like the Middle East and certain parts of Northern Africa. Natural disasters like tsunamis, floods, and droughts have extremely negative effects on local communities most prevalently in Asia and Central Africa. Mass death tolls and infrastructure damage lead to many children being orphaned. For instance, CNN reported in 2004, in Aceh after a Tsunami ravaged its shores, 230,000 people lost their lives, and 150,000 children lost one or both of their parents. Whether it is war and conflict or natural disasters, these factors play a dominant role in the rate of orphanhood globally.

Two children a boy and a girl sit on the steps with basic living necessities in front of them
Two children a boy and a girl sit on the steps with basic living necessities in front of them

COVID-19 Increased the Number of Orphans in the Last 3 years

COVID-19 has presented another pandemic within its midst, the ever-increasing orphan rate. Lack of access to adequate health care and poverty is an important factor in countries like Africa, Asia, and South America which have all been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. World organizations are increasingly concerned for children that have lost one or both of their parents due to the virus.


As with all crises and health pandemics, the most vulnerable children are at increased risk of losing parental care – due to death, severe illness, or financial hardship. This, in turn, increases their risk of being placed in unsuitable alternative care.”- Official UNICEF Statement July 19th, 2021


What LIFE is Doing About It

Organizations like UNICEF, Save the Children and Orphan Outreach contend that the best solution for orphaned children is to engage community-based organizations that help support families and orphans directly. They accomplish this by providing essential living requirements, ensuring that schools and health care are accessible, and helping to build the basic infrastructure required for communities to be able to grow economically.

A young girl, orphaned in Mali stands in front of LIFE sign-holding an envelope that will help provide basic life essentials in the coming months.
A young girl, orphaned in Mali stands in front of LIFE sign-holding an envelope that will help provide basic life essentials in the coming months.

LIFE is a community-based organization, we work diligently and effectively with international organizations and governments to deliver numerous benefits to communities, including but not limited to, Orphan Sponsorship, Community Development, Family Assistance, Education, Health Care, and Covid-19 Aid. We try to attack the increasing orphan rates from every angle to produce the best possible outcome for children suffering worldwide. LIFE believes in them and you. Together we can rebuild our global community to be inclusive and give children the chance at a bright future.

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