Wednesday, February 23, 2011

United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency

(Post 49)

U.S. president Franklin Rooselvelt proposed the formation of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (UNRRA) in June, 1943, to provide relief to areas liberated from Axis powers after World War II ended. UNRRA headquarters was in Washington, D.C., and the European Regional Office was set up in London. Although the UNRRA was called a "United Nations" agency, it was established prior to the founding of the United Nations. The term "United Nations" was used at the time to refer to the Allies of World War II.

The task of UNRRA was to assist its member governments in giving relief to the victims of war, in assisting them in the rehabilitation of their agriculture and industries, and in returning to their homes those who had been displaced.

UNRRA London (European Regional Office), December 22, 1944

In 1944, when the UNRRA cover shown above was mailed, UNRRA teams had begun rehabilitating refugees and displaced persons in camps all over the Mediterranean, Africa, the Middle East, and Italy.

The UNRRA became part of the United Nations Organization in 1945 and was especially active in 1945 and 1946, and largely shut down operations in 1947.

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