Turkey 'among top performers' in eradicating poverty

Turkey 'among top performers' in eradicating poverty

WASHINGTON-Anadolu Agency
Turkey among top performers in eradicating poverty

Turkey has achieved progress in eradicating poverty, reducing inequalities and addressing the needs of vulnerable groups, a senior official said on July 15.

Speaking at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development at UN headquarters, Naci Ağbal, the head of Turkey's Strategy and Budget Directorate, said "fundamental steps" helped Turkey make that progress.

“Turkey is among the top performers in eradicating poverty,” said Ağbal. “Pro-poor policies in employment, social security, education, health and housing have significantly contributed to this outcome.”

Ağbal, who is a former finance minister, said Turkey has been pursuing a human-centered development approach and has also made progress in providing better quality, more accessible public services, particularly in education and health.

"Policies to reduce disparities in inter-regional infrastructure and promote technological advancements marked an inclusive development pathway," he added.

He said almost 40% of Turkey's population is under 24 years old, highlighting that children and youth constitute the largest potential for Turkey's development.

“With significant measures taken to increase access to education, net schooling rates at all levels of education have substantially grown.

“Increasing the quality of education will continue to be our main priority until 2030,” he said.

Ağbal also said Turkey attaches great importance to renewable energy resources to reduce import dependency and curb greenhouse gas emissions.

"A significant increase has been achieved in the share of renewables in electricity supply," said Ağbal, without elaborating.

On the 3.6 million Syrians living in Turkey, he said the country has generously responded to the influx of Syrians since the 2011 civil war.

“We provided temporary protection status for them, which ensures easy access to public services such as health, education and social protection,” Ağbal said.

“They are free to attend the labor market and also receive various social assistance benefits financed through national and international funds,” he added.