Responding to the Orphan Crisis

The Issue at a Glance

In 2019, the best estimates show there are from 2 to 8 million children living in orphanages around the world, more than 150 million children who have lost one or both parents, and more than 1 billion children who experience serious abuse each year. Furthermore, millions of children have become orphans during the COVID-19 pandemic globally, with orphanhood increasing the likelihood of poverty, abuse, delayed development, mental health challenges, reduced access to education, and institutionalization.

Research shows that children best develop and thrive in safe, stable, and nurturing families, with the greatest opportunity to reach their full potential.

The Unique Role of the Church

The Church worldwide is uniquely positioned to advance collaboration across government, business, faiths, and other spheres of influence towards the vision of a world without orphaned and vulnerable children. It has the capacity and is commissioned to lead the effort in strengthening families, reducing vulnerability, and ending orphanhood.


Following the Biblical call “to look after orphans and widows in their distress” as an expression of our pure faith (James 1:27), the World Evangelical Alliance supports its partner World Without Orphan (WWO) in their mission of calling and equipping national leaders to collaborate in solving their own country’s orphaned and vulnerable children crisis.


WWO is well positioned to equip leaders in churches and national Alliances with the tools and resources to help them respond to the problems in their respective countries. Their focus is not only on helping children who are orphans but strengthening families to prevent children from becoming orphans and ending up in institutional care.


To learn more about WWO, visit


For statistics on orphans and vulnerable children, visit:

Ø  Children’s Statistics: UN Data on the Plight of Children (SOS Children’s Villages)

Ø  Global Orphanhood Associated with COVID-19 (CDC)