DECEMBER 14, 1946
NEW YORK, Friday—There is one remaining UNRRA activity being transferred to the United Nations which I have not yet told you about. That is the welfare services. UNRRA has some sixty specialists who could be called on by governments to go to different countries and give advice on how to rebuild welfare services which had been destroyed; on how to set up new services for the care of the aged, for feeding children, or for caring for orphan children, etc.
We have little idea in this country what the burden is going to be in many of the war-torn countries where children have lost not only their soldier fathers, but often their mothers too, and their brothers and sisters, so that only one or two members of a large family survive.
Last night I attended a meeting of the American Committee for Yugoslav Relief, Inc. Six homes for orphans in Yugoslavia were donated by groups in this country. Plaques presented to the Yugoslav Ambassador will go to Yugoslavia to be put up in these homes. They bear the names of well-known Americans.
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This is a new type of work—caring for children on a mass scale—and it requires expert advice which is sometimes not available in countries which have suffered great losses. The U.N. fund for such welfare services also makes allowances for fellowships to trained workers in different countries who wish to study new programs in other parts of the world, so as to return better equipped to their own countries.
In addition, there is a provision for materials and machinery and for trained workers to set up demonstration projects. For instance, shops to make artificial limbs. These shops do the technical work of making and fitting the appliance, and they also teach the handicapped person how to use it to the best advantage. It is not expected that these projects will be anything but demonstrations, where many people may be trained to go out and do the mass work which is necessary in many countries.
The number of trained workers needed will not be as large as under UNRRA, since this type of service will be rendered to governments only on request. Money will be allocated to them, and they will make the decisions as to how to use it. Services will be furnished only as desired.
Flexibility is allowed the U.N. Secretary General in the allocation of funds and the provision of services. Should any one request it, it will even be possible to furnish books for teaching purposes.
Under the charter, the United Nations is permitted to render services of this kind, and I am particularly happy to see this program carried out. I feel it will bring the United Nations as a living organization closer to the people of many nations.