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Legacy of UNRRA in the Field of Health


Classroom Demonstration in the Administration of Penicillin

More than 70 years after its conclusion, the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) remains a unique example of the success of multilateralism in the 20th century. Almost two years before the end of World War II, the United Nations, engaged in a struggle for survival, funded the largest international humanitarian effort up to that point in history. As part of its mandate, UNRRA established clinics and hospitals, trained medical personnel, provided educational resources on the latest medical knowledge available, and shipped tons of medical supplies, including vaccines. These efforts, as well as its administration of the 1944 Sanitary Conventions and facilitating the flow of information, ensured that there were no major outbreaks of diseases in the world in the years immediately following the end of the war and serves as a guide to what can be accomplished by international cooperation.