Although Turkey has made great strides in poverty alleviation over the last 20 years, the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent developments in the Turkish economy threaten to reverse years of progress in the fight against poverty and income inequality. The current state jeopardizes the future of a generation of children.
Poverty is often discussed in terms of dollar amount, yet we believe the quality of life should be at the center of the conversation. Living in poverty means a life of struggle and deprivation. It means no job, limited shelter, and often little to no food on the table. It entails not being able to afford a doctor or medical treatment. For young children, it means malnutrition that permanently impacts mental and physical development and lack of access to a quality education because parents cannot afford school fees or because impoverished families need their children to work.
TPF has been working with partners on the ground to deal with this multi-layered prevalent problem. We believe now is the time to put more spotlight on this immediate need and thus establish the Deep Poverty Fund at TPF. All donations to this fund will support efforts to address and eliminate extreme poverty in Turkey. Your donation will go to TPF vetted nonprofits such as Cemre Fund and Derin Yoksulluk Agi to provide food, shelter, job training, cash assistance, and educational support.
The poverty rate in Turkey more than halved between 2002 and 2015, and extreme poverty fell even greater. However, COVID-19 has driven an additional 1.6 million people into extreme poverty in 2020. When you add the 4 million refugees currently residing in the country that rely on the informal sector, the need becomes even direr. Almost two years into the pandemic, we still don’t know how it has impacted poverty fully.
Retail, accommodation and food, transport, and construction sectors, where low-income households comprise a significant workforce, are hit hardest. Loss of employment and income are the main transmission mechanisms of the crisis for low-income households. The income gap between the richest 5% and the poorest 5% of the population widened by 7 points in 2020, with the former earning 30 times more than the latter. Although the full extent of the crisis is still unknown and subject to considerable uncertainty, there is a real risk of a significant setback in the fight against poverty.
All donations to this fund will support efforts addressing extreme poverty in Turkey. We monitor the impact on affected communities and work with partners to allocate funds. As TPF we are happy to take part in the fight against extreme poverty in Turkey along with other global leaders as part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Thanks to your generosity TPF raised more than $17,000. Your donations will be used to provide food and cash support to people and transition people into a sustainable livelihood. We will share the up-to-date report once the grants are disbursed to and used by TPF partner organizations.
Once again, thank you for partnering with TPF and making an impact in many people's lives!
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