The United Nations is joining forces with the governments of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to try to help the flood of children who are being abandoned or are subjected to stigma due to fears of infection.

According to preliminary estimates by UNICEF released Tuesday, at least 3,700 children in these countries have lost one or both parents since the start of the outbreak. Traditionally, orphans have been taken in by members of their extended families, but in recent months, many of them have been turned away.

“Ebola is turning a basic human reaction like comforting a sick child into a potential death sentence,” Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF regional director for west and central Africa, said in a statement.  “The vast majority of the children affected by Ebola are still left without appropriate care. We cannot respond to a crisis of this nature and this scale in the usual ways.”

One of the most innovative ideas UNICEF is working on involves Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone who are thought to be immune to the disease. Over the next six months, more than 2,500 of them will be trained to provide care and support to quarantined children. UNICEF is also working with partners in Liberia and Guinea to provide psychosocial support to children and families.