WORKSHOP - Beyond Relief and Rehabilitation: UNRRA in Historical Perspective, 1943-47 - 28th June 2018, Newcastle University, UK

Samantha K Knapton's picture
June 28, 2018
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Contemporary History, European History / Studies, German History / Studies, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Diplomacy and International Relations

Beyond Relief and Rehabilitation: UNRRA in Historical Perspective, 1943-1947

The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, or UNRRA, was the first truly international humanitarian effort to prevent famine, destitution, and disease after a major conflict. Until the creation of UNRRA in 1943, war and post-war relief was predominantly carried out by charities, philanthropic individuals, or societies, each of which had independent aims and motives. Between its creation in 1943 and its closure in 1947, UNRRA provided emergency relief and long-term rehabilitation to millions of refugees and displaced persons (DPs) who fell under its mandate. UNRRA’s action in the international arena marked a watershed moment in international relations, human rights, and refugee humanitarianism. In shaping migration policy and conflict resolution and reconstruction processes, the Administration established a precedent for the emergence of the modern-day United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) as well as for future UN specialised agencies, such as UNICEF, UNESCO, and WHO. In many ways, UNRRA can be viewed as a lens through which we can understand present-day challenges in the world today.

This one-day workshop, which will be held on Thursday, June 28th 2018 at Newcastle University, will bring together like-minded scholars and experts of UNRRA with the aim of revealing how humanitarian needs conflicted with administrative and political restrictions within the context of WWII and its immediate aftermath. The Keynote (Title TBC) will be delivered by Dr Jessica Reinisch (Birkbeck, University of London). You can find the conference programme and our presenter's abstracts at the link below. For any updates to the programme please visit the webpage, or alternatively use #UNRRA2018 on Twitter and follow @LgmSam and @katherinemrossy.

This workshop is generously funded by Newcastle University Humanties Research Institute, Cultural Significance of Place and the International Studies in Forced Migration Group. Registration is free, but please contact Samantha Knapton ( and or Katherine Rossy ( register. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Contact Info: 

Samantha K Knapton -

Katherine Rossy -