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United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration

United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), organization founded (1943) during World War II to give aid to areas liberated from the Axis powers. There were finally 52 participating countries, each of which contributed funds amounting to 2% of its national income in 1943. A sum of nearly $4 billion was expended on various types of emergency aid, including distribution of food and medicine and restoration of public services and of agriculture and industry. China, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Italy, Poland, the Ukrainian SSR, and Yugoslavia were the chief beneficiaries. UNRRA returned some 7 million displaced persons to their countries of origin and provided camps for about 1 million refugees unwilling to be repatriated. More than half the funds were provided by the United States, and the three directors general—Herbert H. Lehman, Fiorello La Guardia, and Gen. Lowell Rooks—were American. UNRRA discontinued its operations in Europe on June 30, 1947. Its remaining work, chiefly in China, ended on Mar. 31, 1949. The functions of UNRRA were transferred to other UN agencies, chiefly the International Refugee Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the United Nations Children's Fund.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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