The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Thursday—An interesting ceremony took place yesterday at the White House. The United States Committee for the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, whose chairman is Mrs. Oswald B. Lord, presented to President Truman a report on the International Children's Emergency Fund.

This is a fund established in 1946 to help child victims in countries devastated by the war as well as children in other war-affected countries. Its second objective is to aid child health generally. The Congress of the United States appropriated $75,000,000 for this purpose. This was to be matched on the basis of 72 percent from us and 28 percent from all other countries combined. Our money was made available as that of other nations became available.

In administering the Children's Fund no barrier, such as race, creed, nationality or politics, was to be considered. Help has been given not only in Europe, but in the Philippines, the Middle and Far East, and Central and South America.

The United States Committee is ready to receive contributions from organizations and people in the United States. The Children's Emergency Fund, to the limit of its resources, will distribute these funds for the sole benefit of children.

The responsibility of the U.S. Committee is to tell the people of the United States about the work of UNICEF, about the needs of children everywhere and not only about what has been done, but about what may be done if the peoples of the world understand that children form the basis of world organization in the future. If their needs are not met today, we will have, on a worldwide scale, less adequate human beings to meet the problems of the world of the future.

In some parts of the world certain emergency needs caused by World War II, may cease to exist in the near future. Certain countries that were unable to feed their children two years ago may shortly be able to meet their needs. But there are regular inadequacies of which people concerned with children are more than aware. These are not emergency needs; these are continuing needs and we must not forget their existence.

We draw your attention to the report of the U.S. Committee for UNICEF and we hope that as long as this fund is in operation the people of the United States will give it full and generous support. This support will enable the Fund to do the best possible work in two areas—that of relief for needy children and that of medical care.

We would urge, however, upon our people the consideration of the fact that the great problems of the welfare of children is in some instances far from being an emergency problem. It is a problem never met and never solved and one which perhaps the United Nations through its regular humanitarian agencies should consider as a primary part of the work of such organizations as touch the daily lives of people in the world as a whole. Food and Agriculture, World Health and UNESCO might very well for the future have child welfare sections devoted to the development of conditions in the world which would be fair and favorable to the full and healthy development of the child in every nation in every part of the world.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, November 18, 1949

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.