Turkey: Inter-Agency Protection Sector Needs Analysis Round 5 – January 2022 – Türkiye
This fifth round of inter-agency Protection Sector Needs Assessment was conducted via 18 sector partners (including CBOs) and 2 universities in January 2022 with a sample of 1,146 individuals (representing a total of 6 465 people at the household level). The majority of respondents taking part in the exercise are Syrians, followed by Afghans, Iraqis, Iranians and people of other nationalities.
This comparative analysis aims to provide an overview of the impact of COVID-19 and the current socio-economic context on refugee communities in Turkey. Overall, the assessment provides an understanding of the overall protection situation across Turkey in relation to various thematic areas, including community-level protection and concerns; access to information; access to services (including health, COVID-19 vaccines and education); work and income; access to basic needs; and access to digital tools and digital literacy. In this cycle, additional questions on disability status, education levels, Turkish language skills were included in consultation with industry partners. The analysis proposes various measures to overcome the obstacles and challenges identified during the assessment.
Only 16% of respondents indicate that they speak Turkish fluently. The highest rates of Turkish proficiency are among Iranians (43% can speak fluently) and the lowest among Syrians, as 33% of respondents indicate that their Turkish is very limited. The inability to speak Turkish is slightly higher in women than in men.
31% of households confirmed having one or more members with disabilities. The highest prevalence of disability is identified within Afghan communities.
As in previous series, more than half of the population (58%) believe they have sufficient access to information. Although some improvements have been recorded since Round 4, the results show that Afghans and Iranians continue to have less access to information compared to other population groups. In addition, rural populations and illiterate people were also identified as being disadvantaged in access to information compared to others. While the information gaps remained the same from one cycle to the next (i.e. financial and material assistance, labor rights and resettlement), this cycle clearly identified differences in information needs by location, gender and nationality. The main sources remained within the community, with UN agencies also included in the top three.
Overall access to essential services improved from September 2021, likely due to the lifting of COVID-19 measures and a significant shift to hybrid service delivery. During this cycle, 95% of respondents attempted to access services, of which 24% indicated that they encountered difficulties. No major differences in access to services were identified with respect to place of residence, location, gender groups or nationalities. The hardest to reach services and service providers were PDMMs and ESSN/CCTE applications. Among those who have encountered difficulties, differences are identified between rural and urban populations, gender groups, locations and nationality groups, with regard to services/service providers that are difficult to access and barriers to access. access.
A marked improvement in access to health services has been identified in this Round. To clarify, 88% of respondents indicated that they had tried to access services, of which 17% said that they faced obstacles. However, Afghans and Iranians continue to experience more difficulty accessing compared to other population groups (34% and 28% respectively said they have tried to access but failed), despite improvements for both groups since Round 4. Barriers to accessing health services for Afghans and Iranians remain tied to the legal status and in particular the status of their health insurance, for which most insurance has been disabled. approached PDMM to formally request an assessment for reactivation. Although they are getting closer to the PDMMs and some have specific needs that can trigger a reactivation (depending on the parameters set by the PMM), the majority indicate that their assurances remain inactive.
The results indicate a slight deterioration since the previous cycle in terms of access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and gynecology and obstetrics (G&O) services. Iranian women were identified as facing more difficulties than other population groups. While many respondents cite barriers related to accessing health services in general, around half also cite language barriers and lack of interpretation services as a major challenge in accessing SRH and G&O services.
A clear majority across all groups are able to follow developments related to COVID-19 in Turkey (including in relation to recalls) and report that they have not encountered any difficulty in accessing COVID-19 vaccines. Additionally, while 34% did not answer the question, of those who did, 84% confirmed that one or more members of their household had been vaccinated and 80% confirmed that all members had been vaccinated. . Reasons for not having access to the vaccine were identified as concerns about potential costs, concerns about the safety (and benefits) of vaccines, and potential longer-term consequences. The first is particularly relevant for men, while the last two concerns are mentioned more by rural populations, women heads of households and Afghans.
65% of respondents report having school-aged children, 89% of whom confirmed that at least one of their children has access to school. Among households that confirm that their children have access to school, 80% indicate that their children can still attend classes, indicating an overall improvement in access to education compared to the COVID-19 period when education was delivered remotely. The main reasons why children are out of school include financial barriers, bullying and distance to schools/transportation issues.
Most respondents (60%) indicated that they were working informally before the COVID-19 outbreak, while a third were unemployed and only 9% were working formally. Differences in pre-COVID work status have been identified across gender groups, residential settings, population groups, and geographic locations. Following the outbreak, 67% experienced a change in their professional status (which continued to be linked to COVID-19 and potentially to the economic situation as well), with Iranians and Afghans most affected by these changes.
About 4% of all children identified at the household level are working. It is of particular concern that nearly half of all working children are under 12 (representing a 60% increase since the last cycle in working children under 12). The majority of working children are of Syrian origin, but the prevalence of working children under 12 is highest in Afghan communities. The main sectors of employment for children are agriculture and animal husbandry textiles and sewing and construction. Although differences between groups have been identified, the majority of factors leading to child labor are identified as being directly linked to access to livelihoods and the socio-economic situation of households.
The main source of income for about half is work/employment, followed by humanitarian aid. Among respondents, about half confirmed having received some form of assistance (cash, in-kind or both), but increasingly, individuals indicate that assistance does not meet their needs. This may mean that despite some increase in transfer values for cash-based interventions, this may not be in line with the current economic circumstances of the country.
90% of respondents say they are unable to fully cover their monthly expenses and basic household needs, with the number of people unable to meet their expenses increasing since the last cycle. Afghans and Iraqis are identified as the most socio-economically vulnerable population groups.
Compared to pre-COVID periods, the average increase in household spending is 63%. The most difficult to manage costs remained the same as in Round 4, namely food, rent/housing and utilities. Almost all respondents mentioned adopting a coping strategy/coping mechanism, including reducing essential food expenses, borrowing money/remittances and buying food on credit/ debt.
Respondents continue to report observations on a variety of protection and community concerns, including domestic violence (confirmed increase of 29%), conflict between household members (36%), violence and sexual abuse against women and girls, social tensions with members of the host community (32%). , and child marriage at very similar levels compared to the previous Round. In this round, observations related to peer bullying were explored, where 41% of respondents confirmed an increase in peer bullying between refugee and host community children and youth .
Increased stress, both at the individual and community level, remained the most significant protection and community concern identified across all rounds of assessment, particularly for Iranians and Afghans. The reasons for the increased stress are related to the unpredictability of the future in Turkey and socio-economic concerns. Findings from this cycle clearly indicate the links between MHPSS and protection concerns, including in relation to tensions with the host community. The majority of those in need of support seek MHPSS services through I/NGOs and hospitals.
15% of respondents faced a situation where they needed to access legal assistance, but half of them could not access services, Iranians and Afghans being slightly disadvantaged in terms of access compared to other groups. While in all groups access to territory and international protection remained among the main issues for which respondents needed access to legal assistance, it should be noted in particular that support related to violence (including different types, such as sexual, physical and psychological) was also identified. in this cycle among the main needs. For those able to access assistance, I/NGOs remained the main source, followed by private lawyers and bar associations.
Almost half of respondents indicate that they face difficulties in accessing services remotely due to the lack of digital tools, while 60% say they encounter some level of difficulty or are completely unable to use digital platforms to access services.