The number of families suffering from poverty doubled between 2019 and 2020 in Turkey, revealing the extent of the economic crisis in the country.
From 2019 to 2020, 3.47 million new families in Turkey fell below the poverty line to receive state welfare benefits, according to the 2022 presidential program. As a result of inflation, loss of currency value, and the pandemic, the number of families experiencing poverty more than doubled in just one year.
As of 2020, 6.63 million households qualified to receive welfare benefits from the Family and Social Services Ministry, the daily Sözcü reported. With a population of 84.3 million in 2020, this represents a significant portion of Turkey’s population.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Turkish citizens have faced a barrage of economic struggles: Skyrocketing inflation and food prices, increase in rent, loss of work, loss of currency value, and a lack of state benefits. This has resulted - as these numbers show - in widespread poverty.
The ministry did not reveal the average amount of aid given to each family, nor the change in the amount of aid year-over-year.
In the same period, from 2019 to 2020, the number of families in need of child support from the ministry also increased, from 198,907 families to 220,022. The aid distributed for children in need increased from 1.39 billion lira to 1.64 billion lira.
The number of people in poverty who needed home care also increased. In 2019, that number was 514,158, in 2020, it was 529,427. The amount of aid distributed increased from 8.2 billion to 9.3 billion lira.
In 2020, 7.81 million people also paid the state’s general health insurance premium (GSS) because they did not have a job or earn money, versus 7.52 million the year before.