Impact of financial assistance on stunting: Syrian refugee children under 5 in Türkiye

Ay Kesgin M., Saraç M., Grede N., Çavlin Bircan A., Koç İ.


  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/s0021932024000038
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Periodicals Index Online, Anthropological Literature, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, Gender Studies Database, Index Islamicus, Psycinfo, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-27
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Despite the global decrease over the last two decades, stunting, also called ‘chronic malnutrition’, remains a public health issue affecting almost 150 million children under age 5 globally.  Defined by height-for-age, stunting is the consequence of poor nutrition, repeated infection, and inadequate psychosocial stimulation. Programs and policies target undernutrition globally, and humanitarian and development actors invest great efforts to prevent stunting. This study uses multivariate analysis to examine the impact of financial assistance on the reduction of stunting in a refugee context, focusing on Syrian refugee children under age 5 in Türkiye. Using a unique data set, the 2018 Turkey Demographic and Health Survey Syrian Migrant Sample (2018 TDHS-SR), the findings indicate that financial assistance significantly reduces the incidence of stunting among refugee children under the control of economic, mother and children, environmental, health-related and nutritional and breastfeeding characteristics. However, having household members generate income is found to be another stronger predictor to reduce stunting. The paper also argues that the nutritional well-being of refugee children might improve if forced migration occurs toward a stable host country/region. In addition, adaptation over time also seems to have a positive influence.