My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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TORONTO—It has come to my attention from reliable sources that a group of U.S. farm organizations have made a proposal that contributions to the new expanded Technical Assistance Program should be appropriated directly to each specialized agency and not to the central fund. The reason for this is a fear expressed in certain quarters that the work of the Food and Agriculture agency is being taken over by the U.N. under the expanded program of technical assistance.

This is not true, and the facts are as follows:

The U.N. and each of the specialized agencies have their own regular budget which is financed by assessments against the member governments of the agencies. The use of these funds is entirely within the control of the agency, and they are used to carry out the program voted by the member governments for the benefit of the entire membership. The U.N. expanded program of technical assistance is financed by voluntary contributions from such nations as choose to participate. The money goes into the central fund and is then allocated and spent by the individual international specialized agencies.

At first these funds were allocated automatically among the participating organizations on the basis of a percentage formula set up by the Economic and Social Council in 1949. It soon became apparent that such an inflexible method of allocation frequently made it difficult for the international agencies to respond to specific needs and requests of underdeveloped countries. In 1954 the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly approved a revision in the allocation of funds so as to make it possible for underdeveloped countries to secure greater emphasis in particular fields, which had not been possible in the automatic percentage formula.

There are five steps under this new system to safeguard the allocation of these funds and to review the programs which are undertaken. Emphasis under the new system is on what the country needs for economic development. More assistance will be possible in agriculture or health, for example, if this is what the country needs.

It would be a mistake to try to change this new plan because of the fear that the specialized agencies themselves will not control their own budget and their own program. It is therefore hoped that when Congress considers this expanded technical assistance program they will accept the recommendations of the General Assembly, realizing that the specialized agencies still fully control their own funds.

Flag Day is June 14, and I have been asked to pass along to you the kind offer of 30,000 dry cleaners throughout the country. They want us to fly clean flags on that day, and so they have offered to clean flags without charge between June 1 and 12. This venture is jointly sponsored by the National Institute of Dry Cleaning and the American Legion whose commander, J. Addington Wagner, has asked the Legions throughout the country to lend their cooperation.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Toronto, (Ont., Canada) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, June 4, 1956

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.