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UNRRA selected records AG-018-033 : India Mission

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2019.33.1 | RG Number: RG-67.077

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    Consist of general files relating to displaced persons.
    inclusive:  1946
    Collection Creator
    United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA)
    UNRRA. India Mission
    The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) was an international relief agency representing 44 nations, but largely dominated by the United States. Founded in 1943, it became part of the United Nations (UN) in 1945, and it largely shut down operations in 1947. Its purpose 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." Its staff of civil servants included 12,000 people, with headquarters in New York. Funding came from many nations, and totaled $3.7 billion, of which the United States contributed $2.7 billion; Britain $625 million and Canada $139 million. The Administration of UNRRA at the peak of operations in mid-1946 included five types of offices and missions with a staff totaling nearly 25,000: The Headquarters Office in Washington, The European Regional Office (London), the 29 servicing offices and missions (2 area offices in Cairo and Sydney; 10 liaison offices and missions in Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Trieste; 12 procurement offices in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and later Peru, Cuba, India, Mexico, South Africa, Southern Rhodesia, Turkey, Uruguay, Venezuela; 6 offices for procurement of surplus military supplies in Caserta and later Rome, Honolulu, Manila, New Delhi, Paris, Shanghai), the sixteen missions to receiving countries (Albania, Austria, Byelorussia, China, Czechoslovakia, the Dodecanese Islands, Ethiopia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Korea, the Philippines, Poland, Ukraine, Yugoslavia), and the Displaced Persons Operations in Germany.

    UNRRA cooperated closely with dozens of volunteer charitable organizations, who sent hundreds of their own agencies to work alongside UNRRA. In operation only three years, the agency distributed about $4 billion worth of goods, food, medicine, tools, and farm implements at a time of severe global shortages and worldwide transportation difficulties. The recipient nations had been especially hard hit by starvation, dislocation, and political chaos. It played a major role in helping Displaced Persons return to their home countries in Europe in 1945-46. Its UN functions were transferred to several UN agencies, including the International Refugee Organization and the World Health Organization. As an American relief agency, it was largely replaced by the Marshall Plan, which began operations in 1948. [Source: UN Original finding aid of records of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA)]
    The UNRRA Procurement and Recruiting Office in India was established in New Delhi in December 1945. The title of the office is descriptive of its functions, which were: (1) to procure relief goods against Indian contribution of Rs. 80,000,000 ($24,042,072) to the UNRRA. fund, and (2) to recruit Indian personnel for service with UNRRA in all theatres of operation. It had been given another responsibility, namely, establishment of liaison with the civil and military authorities in Burma and the Federated Malay States for handling any relief operations which might be undertaken there, but no call in this direction was made on this office. Administratively it was responsible to the Office of Far Eastern Affairs, UNRRA Headquarters, Washington.
    The New Delhi office was only procurement and recruiting agency as no relief operation in India itself was undertaken by UNRRA. In the matter of procurement, too, the UNRRA office had no direct dealings in the open market, since the procedure agreed upon between Sayre and the Indian Government required that UNRRA should furnish the Commerce Department of the Government of India with firm requests following which the latter would place contracts with suppliers in collaboration with appropriate governmental procurement agencies. In the matter of recruitment, the New Delhi Office acted as the liaison agency for the Bureau of Personnel at Headquarters. The New Delhi Office had a very small establishment of a dozen people or so under a Director, and its records were kept as a central file with simple subject classification.

    Physical Details

    378 digital images : JPEG ; 4.34 GB .
    System of Arrangement
    Selected records arranged in one sub-group: 1. S-1416. Procurement and Recruting Office, 1945-1948.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    This material can only be accessed in a Museum reading room or other on-campus viewing stations. No other access restrictions apply to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    The United Nations Archives is a holder of the copyrights of this collection.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Source of acquisition is the Archives and Records Management Section (UN-ARMS), UNRRA records AG-018-033. The collection was digitized through a cooperative agreement between the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Mémorial de la Shoah, France and the UN-ARMS. The USHMM Archives received copied collection via the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum International Archival Programs Division in February 2019.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-23 10:27:00
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