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Department of Public Information (DPI)
26 April 1949
Department of Public Information
Press and Publications Bureau
Lake Success, New York
Press Release PAL/492
26 April 1949
UNITED NATIONS PALESTINE RELIEF HEAD
COMMENDS AGENCIES' WORK IN NEAR EAST
Mr. Stanton Griffis, Director of United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees, today urged continued support of the seven organizations comprising the American Appeal Committee for Holy Land Refugees. These organizations are the American Middle East Relief, the Church World Service, the Near East Foundation, the Catholic Near East Welfare Association affiliated with the National Catholic Welfare Conference, the Near East College Association and Lutheran World Relief.
Mr. Griffis said that he had met with the American Appeal Committee and was impressed with the work the member organizations are doing for Palestine refugees. With his understanding, the organizations are instructing their representatives in the Middle East to consult with the three operating agencies of United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees, - the League of Red Cross Societies, International Committee of the Red Cross, and the American Friends Service Committee, to be sure that the best use is made of voluntary agency resources and personnel complementing the United Nations relief program.
The United Nations established the UNRPR last December to distribute food and supplies through the two Red Cross organizations and the American Friend Service Committee, but this program is dependent on governmental donations which, according to Mr. Griffis, have come in more slowly than expected. The shortage of funds together with an increase in the number of refugees since last fall has meant, Mr. Griffis said, that the United Nations program can only provide the minimum required to keep the refugees alive.
Despite the cooperation of the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, the World Health Organization and UNESCO, there is little money for health care, and almost none for clothing, adequate shelter, or recreation and schooling. Hence the need, Mr. Griffis stressed, for action by private voluntary groups to bring to the hundreds of thousands of refugees those things which the United Nations cannot afford.
In commending the American Appeal Committee for Holy Land Refugees, Mr. Griffis said, "I am grateful to the people of the United States who, through these voluntary agencies, are helping us to solve what is a gigantic problem."
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