Communication Received from Women’s
International League for Peace and
I take the liberty of submitting to you in writing a proposal which I discussed on April 16, 1948, when you were so very kind as to receive me.
In view of the desperate situation of the children in Palestine caused by bloodshed and imminent chaos and starvation, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom: suggests that a sum be allocated by the UNICEF for the distribution of food and drugs to children in need in Palestine - to those whose fathers or supporters have been killed as well as to every other child requiring help.
The essential point of our proposal is to have Arab and Jewish children alike and without any discrimination enjoy this assistance and to extend it to any other child in Palestine who may be found in need. The approximate figure based on records available in the archives of the UN Palestine Commission is 773,000 school children, age 5-14.* Figures of pre-school age were not available, but we are confident that you, Sir, and the UN Palestine Commission, are the best judge of the situation.
On the basis of material compiled by the UNICEF (E/IMF/56, March 25; 1948) allocations would probably be based on the figures in Annex 4 E/ICEF/46 page 38.
We understand that a country asking for assistance from UNICEF is expected to do so through its Government. In view of the complex and confused nature of the present status of Palestine we beg to submit that the UN Commission for Palestine examine our proposal at its earliest convenience and decide to apply for the allocation of UNICEF funds necessary to direct food end drugs to Palestine and to have them distributed through the good offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
We need not impress upon you, Sir, who know conditions in Palestine so well and who have exerted every effort to direct attention to the dangerous situation in Palestine, the terrible urgency of the case. Speed is of the essence. The matter requires immediate action - irrespective of ultimate decisions of the UN General Assembly now in session, irrespective also of political and military developments in the Holy Land. Ours is a purely humanitarian appeal born of deep anxiety - offered in a spirit of conciliation and in the hope that it may contribute to relieve hardship and tension in Palestine and to initiate a new effort of constructive cooperation.
We shall be indebted to you and your Commission for an early reply and shall be glad to be at your disposal if desired.
(signed) GERTRUDE BAER
PROCEDURE IS APPLYING FOR ASSISTANCE FROM
THE INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S EMERGENCY FUND
II. The International Children’s Emergency Fund may instigate investigation on Maurice Pate’s initiation. This is entirely up to Mr. Pate. He may, if he so deems necessary, refer requests to the Executive Board of the International Children’s Emergency Fund.
III. An International Children’s Emergency Fund mission investigates needs in a country requesting assistance and works out with the government a program. The Mission presents this program to Maurice Pate. Mr. Pate refers program to the Program Committee. After a careful consideration, the Program Committee refers their findings to the Executive Board for approval.
IV. A contract is then signed with the recipient government.
V. The International Children’s Emergency Fund Mission is despatched to the country to supervise distribution.
* Note: Because of emergency need in Roumania, the International Children's Emergency Fund despatched emergency rations and drugs before actually sending the first mission to that country to work out a program.