Children in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority southeast face chronic hunger - report

Children in Turkey’s Kurdish majority east and southeast face developmental challenges due to chronic hunger, according to a new report by the country’s health and education ministries.

The Evaluation of Growth of Growth in Turkish Schoolchildren report (TOÇBİ) report, prepared with Ankara’s Hacettepe University, warned of the serious consequences of inadequate nutrition in both regions of Turkey, Birgün newspaper reported on Saturday.

A total of 3.5 percent of children in the eastern region and 5.4 percent of children in the southeast region experienced stunted growth due to chronic hunger, compared to as low as 1 percent found in their peers in the western regions of the country, the TOÇBİ report found.

Turkey’s southwestern region leads the country in underweight children, with 4.2 percent measuring below weight, compared to the national average of 2 percent. 

“There is a poor nutrition problem in Turkey… the numbers are serious. We don’t see these figures in any European country,’’ Chairwoman of the Health Ministry’s Public Health Chamber said. 

Turkey's east and southeast are among the least developed regions with the highest rates of unemployment.