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United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) (1943-1949) (War-time relief administration)



  • Existence: 9 November 1943 - 31 March 1949


The UNRRA was a relief effort signed by 44 countries, but primarily paid for by the United States, the United Kingdom, China, and the USSR. 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" (Agreement, Articles 1 and 2). The effort was hailed as "the first attempt at an international civil service" and "one of the most important and pregnant events of the war" (Reinisch, 2011). It combined many designs of previous war efforts to create one cohesive plan, and opened headquarters in Washington D.C., and London, with 29 serving offices and missions (United Nations Archive, accessed 5/11/18). The UNRRA teams also are known for their efforts with Displaced Persons, particularly the 11,000,000 non-Germans who were reallocated to Germany during the war. They did not offer relief services to ethnic Germans.

‘United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration - UNARMS’, United Nations Archives [accessed 5 November 2018]
‘AGREEMENT FOR UNRRA’, IBiblio> [accessed 5 November 2018]
Reinisch, Jessica, ‘Internationalism in Relief: The Birth (and Death) of UNRRA’, Past & Present, 210 (2011), 258–89

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Papers related to United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA)

 Sub-Fonds — Box CLX-A-115
Identifier: Coll-705/2
Scope and Contents

This box pertaining to Marjorie Rackstraw's work with the Friends Service Committee and the the United Nations Rehabilitation and Relief Administration.

Dates: 1904-1981