One in three children lives in extreme poverty across Turkey: Research

One in three children lives in extreme poverty across Turkey: Research

ISTANBUL
One in three children lives in extreme poverty across Turkey: Research

Some 7.2 million children in Turkey lived in households suffering from severe material deprivation in 2015, a fresh report has revealed.  

A report published by the Bahçeşehir University Center for Economic and Social Research (BETAM) revealed that some 36.4 percent of children aged between 0 and 15 suffered from the effects of material deprivation in Turkey in 2015, making the country the second worst in Europe after Bulgaria. In 2014, the rate in Bulgaria decreased from 38.3 percent to 36.9 percent, while in 2015 it increased from 36.2 percent to 36.4. 

Turkey was followed by Macedonia and Romania with 31.7 percent and 29.5 percent in 2015, respectively, according to the research. 

The European Union defines the criteria for severe material deprivation as a household that cannot afford at least four of the following: rent payments; mortgage or utility bills; adequate house warming; unexpected expenses; meals involving meat, chicken or fish every second day; a one-week annual holiday away from home; a washing machine, color television, telephone or car.

Severe material deprivation rates among children are around four to five percent in Germany, Denmark and France, while almost zero in Scandinavian countries, according to the research. 

“Although Turkey has showed a better performance in terms of national income per capita and general economic outlook than several European countries, it is one of the countries with the highest volume of material deprivation among children,” the report said.

The highest number of children living in extreme poverty was in the Mediterranean, southeastern and the eastern provinces.  

One in two children in Southeastern Anatolia lived in extreme poverty in 2015, according to the research, although the rate saw a decrease to 23.3 percent in Western Anatolia. 

Three out of four children lived in families who could not take a one-week annual holiday, while some 40 percent of children were unable to meet their protein needs from red meat, chicken or fish in 2015. 

“Turkey needs more effective social policies to fight against child poverty and to avert regional disparities,” the report said.