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Turkey: Inter-Agency Protection Sector Needs Assessment Analysis Round 4 - June 2021

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Executive Summary

This Fourth Round of the protection sector inter-agency needs assessment was carried out via 29 sector partners (including Community-Based Organizations) and 4 Municipalities in June 2021 with a sample size of 1,266 individuals (representing a total of 6,251 persons at the household level). The majority of respondents participating in the exercise are Syrian, followed by Afghan,
Iraqi, Iranian, and individuals of other nationalities.

This comparative analysis aims to provide an annual overview of COVID-19 impact on refugee communities and the general protection situation across Turkey in relation to various thematic areas, including protection and community level concerns; access to information; access to services (including health and education); work and income; and access to basic needs. In this Round, ad hoc inquiry areas were included per changes in context, including on access to COVID19 vaccines, access to digital tools and digital literacy. The analysis puts forward various measures to address barriers and challenges identified through the assessment.

The main findings from this Round assessment are highlighted below: ▪ Over half of the population (59%) indicate to feel either informed or very informed when asked about their levels of access to information on rights and services. However, rural populations,
Afghans and Iranians were identified to have more information needs compared to other groups. While financial/material assistance, resettlement and information related to working in Turkey remained amongst the top ranked information needs by communities, this Round also identified registration and documentation as well as legal assistance as new information needs of communities. To note, COVID-19 vaccinations has also increased as an information need across groups. Primary sources of information remain within communities themselves.

▪ While levels of access to essential services have been fluctuating over the past year, in this round, noteworthy improvements in access were identified. In this Round, of the 91% who attempted to access services 31% were unable to do so. Mobile populations (44% unable to access); female headed households (36%) and Afghan respondents (34%) were identified to be facing slightly more challenges in access to services compared to other groups. Difficult to access services remained very similar over the past year (including PDMM services, ESSN&CCTE, and education), with the majority of barriers in accessing these services relating to COVID-19 impact on reduced operational capacity and shift in service provision modalities (i.e. difficulties in accessing services through remote modalities).

▪ Over the past year, health services and service providers remained amongst the hardest to reach by refugee communities. The main barriers in access to health services is mostly related to legal status and status of insurances for individuals of other nationalities (including both International Protection applicants and persons pending registration and documentation) whereas for Syrian nationals the main barriers were related to COVID-19 circumstances. Improvements were recorded in women’s access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and gynaecology & obstetric services (G&O), with exception of Afghan women (of whom approximately half were unable to access these services despite attempting to).

▪ Despite relatively high levels of awareness (74%) on Turkey’s national vaccination plan (with lower awareness reported by rural populations and Afghans) and many expressing they were able to inquire on their eligibility status for vaccinations, only 36% of respondents were identified to be vaccinated for COVID-19 at the time of data collection. Difficulties faced by those who attempted to access services include inability to navigate websites/systems (especially rural populations, Syrian nationals and individuals residing in Central Anatolia & Other region), lack of valid ID and language barriers (particularly for women). For those who did not take any action towards being vaccinated, while many did not want to share information as to why this was the case, others expressed they did not have clear information about the process and that they did not want to be vaccinated.

▪ While 63% of households reported to have school-aged children, approximately half are enrolled in schools (lower for children residing in rural areas). Amongst these children, only 33% report to always have access to EBA online/TV with main difficulties faced indicated as in previous rounds, related to absence of (or not enough) equipment and infrastructure (especially noted by Afghan households), and not having enough information about EBA (particularly a barrier for Afghan and Iraqi children). The top reasons for being out of school for school-aged children include problems faced during registration (more prominent barrier for Afghan households) and financial barriers (noted particularly by female headed and Iranian households).

▪ Similar to previous rounds, the majority of respondents indicated to be working informally prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The working status of many (69%) has changed negatively (notably higher for Afghans and Iranians), as was the case over the past year, however with slight improvements recorded since previous Rounds. The main reasons for changes in working status and conditions remain related to COVID-19.