Aftermaths of World War II: Relief and Reconstruction

Aftermaths of World War II: Relief and Reconstruction

The results of the Second World War were characterised by a humanitarian crisis that had far-reaching consequences for the world population. The European countries initiated refugee settlement programs as an approach to rehabilitating internally displaced people in the post-war era. According to Salvatici (430),relief workers played critical roles in alleviating the dramatic effects of World War II. However, the author further argued that UNRRA relief workers did not accomplish their objectives to contain mass displacement of people. Instead, the entity and its group of relief workers drew traditional challenges about humanitarianism that existed during the war. One of the problems that faced UNRRA and other frontier organisations was staff divergence on the interpretation of their roles. Initially, UNRRA had an objective to transform the organisation into a modern humanitarianism entity. However, it did not achieve its goals considering that its humanitarian activities were marred with complexities.

Salvatici asserts that humanitarian organisations did not have long-established procedures and policies to guide their operations. This aspect attracted the attention of the United Nations that was determined to alleviate long-suffering in the population. Politically-advantaged countries such as France, the United States, and the UK initiated training programs to equip its social workers. The objective, in this regard, was to transform humanitarian organisations besides ensuring that relief social workers had adequate work experience to handle the situation. The author argues that UNRRA faced criticism for its failures in the administration of displaced persons. The public opinion at that time showed that people blamed humanitarian organisations for their inefficiencies and high operating costs. As a response strategy, UNRRA changed its tactics from rescuing to rehabilitating refugees.

European assemblies played critical roles in initiating new approaches, methods, and practices to improve the efficiency and reshape humanitarianorganisations on the international stage.The author argued that the success of UNRRA and other humanitarianorganisations was highly dependent on the qualifications of the staffand other groups of international relief workers. In the United Kingdom, for instance, social workers that supported internally displaced people were personnel selected and shipped from the United States. Such foreigners offered their services inEurope. In this case, theyoffered relief programs to internally displaced people during the post-war era as a form of humanitarian assistance.

The author noted that a significant proportion of UNRRA’s social workers were initially members of the allied armies. These officers did not manage to discharge their duties competently because they were interested in raising the ranks of UNRRA at the expense of providing relief and reconstruction programs. Accordingly, officers did not focus on alleviating the suffering that survivors of the Second World War were experiencing in the post-war era.

The establishment of humanitarian organisationswas the first step towards recreation and rehabilitation of refugees. Such international entities changed the landscape of humanitarian assistance. For instance, UNRRA offered recreation programs that were aimed at entertaining refugees to overcome psychological problems.In this case, such forms of entertainment programs were essential to the recovery of refugees’ low mental status. However,internally displaced people in European countries needed recovery from profound apathy. This aspect wasassociated with antisocial behaviours that they encountered during the Second War World. It is therefore apparent that humanitarian organisationsimplemented recovery programs that go beyond basic needs and medication. UNRRA, for instance, provided the UK refugeeswith new “homes.” Such type of assistance was in the form of shelter. This kind ofhumanitarian aid was an approach to reassurerefugees of UNRRA’sdetermination to rehabilitate internally displaced people.




Work Cited

Salvatici, Silvia. “‘Help the People to Help Themselves’: UNRRA Relief Workers and European

Displaced Persons.” Journal of Refugee Studies 25.3 (2012): 428-451.

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