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Hunger in TurkeyTurkey has a rich history of being a global leader in humanitarian efforts to reduce poverty. The nation is now one of the World Food Program’s (WFP) largest contributors despite needing aid about ten years ago. 

However, Turkey still has a long way to go to reduce poverty and hunger domestically — malnutrition is prevalent in its rural regions.

The rural poverty rate in Turkey is 35% compared to the urban poverty rate of 22%. The extreme poverty rate in rural households is at the root of growing hunger in Turkey.

Living in poverty impacts food security, secure employment, education and healthcare — all of which are easier to attain in urban regions of Turkey.

The recent influx of Syrian refugees also placed pressure on food security in Turkey. Turkish communities hosting Syrian refugees have expanded by up to 30%, which increased competition for employment and increased rent prices.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) implemented a plan in 2006 that focused on job-creation to bolster economic prosperity and improve living standards in rural areas to address hunger in Turkey.

The IFAD plan aims to increase participation in Turkey’s labor force by supporting small businesses and encouraging self-employment that generates incremental income.

This strategy also works to improve agricultural initiatives in remote areas of Turkey through the spread of farm mechanization and processing plants.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched the Ardahan-Kars-Artvin Development Project (AKADP) to further reduce poverty in Turkey.

By working with local farmers from rural, eastern provinces of Turkey, the AKADP would introduce and encourage sustainable agricultural practices to reduce rural poverty and hunger in Turkey.

The AKADP claims to benefit those living in rural Turkey by increasing livestock and crop productivity, improving knowledge of farm management and strengthening both economic and social infrastructure.

Turkey is making remarkable advances toward reducing hunger because of the UNDP and IFAD projects. The WFP recently acknowledged Turkey for reducing its total undernourished population by half.

The IFAD also recognized Turkey as one of the 79 developing countries that achieved their hunger target of reducing malnutrition and the proportion of underweight children under five years old.

The Turkish government and humanitarian organizations have made it a priority to continue to uplift those in rural areas out of poverty. It is possible to reduce hunger in Turkey by investing in rural areas, which will help its inhabitants forge brighter futures.

Mariana Camacho

Photo: Flickr

hunger in developing countries
Hunger in developing countries is one of the most significant hindrances to poverty reduction and global development around the world. Below are five facts about hunger in developing countries that everyone should know.

  1. Hunger is one of the most widespread problems across the globe.

    One in nine people globally is currently undernourished. Of these 795 million people, 98% live in developing countries. This means that hunger in developing countries represents one of the most significant issues facing the developing world and development assistance programs.

  2. Hunger in developing countries is not just concentrated on Africa.

    While the population of Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest percentage of undernourished people, Asia is home to the most hunger people in the world. Nearly 70% of the world’s hungry live in underdeveloped countries within Asia.

  3. Women and children are most negatively impacted.

    Every ten seconds a child dies of malnutrition, making up 45% of all child deaths under age five in developing countries. Those who do survive are often forced to go to school hungry, which hinders their ability to grow and learn and puts them behind in school. Hunger largely contributes to many underdeveloped countries’ educational gaps.

  4. Rural farmers experience the highest rates of undernutrition.

    Three-quarters of the world’s hungry live in rural areas. Most are low-income farmers whose lands are plagued by frequent natural disasters, making them one of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

  5. It is not completely out of reach.

    In July 2014 the heads of the African state department committed to ending hunger in Africa by 2025. To achieve this admirable goal, the country has committed to investing in agriculture and improving peace and stability in the region. Both of these actions have been found to have significant positive impacts on hunger-reduction. Hefty progress has already been made throughout the world — nutrition improved for 26 million people between 2011 and 2013 alone.

Hunger in developing countries is a detrimental hurdle to effective growth. The fight against global hunger is essential; ending hunger in developing countries could bring the world one step closer towards eliminating global poverty and sparking growth in much of the developing world.

Sara Christensen