United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration

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The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) was established by agreement of 44 nations on 9 November 1943; operations came to an end in the latter part of 1946, with the last staff appointment terminating 31 March 1949. The purpose of UNRRA was to "plan, co-ordinate, administer or arrange for the administration of measures for the relief of victims of war in any area under the control of any of the United Nations through the provision of food, fuel, clothing, shelter and other basic necessities, medical and other essential services".[1]

UNRRA provided billions of US dollars of rehabilitation aid, and helped about 8 million refugees. It ceased operations in the Displaced Persons camps of Europe in 1946, and in Asia in 1949, upon which it ceased to exist. Its functions were transferred to several UN agencies, including the International Refugee Organization.


Founding and authority

UNRRA was proposed to the United States Congress by president Franklin Delano Roosevelt on June 9, 1943 to provide relief to areas liberated from Axis powers after World War II. Roosevelt had already obtained the approval of the governments of the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and China, and sought to obtain the endorsement of 40 other governments to form the first "United Nations" organization.

The Agreement for United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration founding document was signed by 44 countries in the White House in Washington, November 9, 1943. UNRRA was headed by a Director-General, and governed by a Council (composed of representatives of all state parties) and a Central Committee (composed of representatives of the U.S., the U.K., the dominion of Canada, the Republic of China, and the U.S.S.R.). The other countries who signed the agreement included: Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, the French Committee of National Liberation, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, India, Iran, Iraq, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, South Africa, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Yugoslavia.

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