Publication: Turkey : Poverty and Coping after Crises, Volume 2. Background Papers

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World Bank
Turkey experienced severe losses of life and infrastructure in 1999 caused by the August earthquake. The earthquake was followed by a period of economic and financial crisis, culminating in a major currency devaluation in February 2001. What has been the social impact of these crises? In order to answer that question, the World Bank and the Government of Japan co-financed a household survey during the summer of 2001, which consisted of surveying 4200 households on their consumption and income, and interviewing 120 respondents in depth for case studies. This study seeks to answer three main questions: how many are poor in Turkey in 2001; who are the poor and why are they poor?; and how do the poor cope with risk and poverty?. The major effect of the crises has been an increase in poverty in urban areas of Turkey from 1994 to 2001. Extreme poverty in all of Turkey has not changed, and remains at low levels, but inequality is also unchanged at quite high levels. A relatively large share (nearly one-fifth) of the urban population has consumption below a food standard, and qualitative evidence indicates that poverty has worsened in rural areas as well. The report concludes with the following policy recommendations:1) Macroeconomic management to resume broad-based growth, which should reverse the poverty trend since the vast majority of the newly poor are not extremely poor 2) Counter negative coping strategies of the poor by providing conditional cash transfers 3) Expand job opportunities for the newly poor through micro-projects and community development 4) Improve targeting and coverage of the extreme poor and outreach to them through institutional strengthening 5) Institute regular poverty monitoring through household surveys and the development of a poverty map.
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World Bank. 2003. Turkey : Poverty and Coping after Crises, Volume 2. Background Papers. © Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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