Middle East Relief and Refugee Administration
The Middle East Relief and Refugee Administration (MERRA) was organized to deal with the various problems created by the large-scale evacuation of refugees from Poland, Greece, and Dodecanese to the south early in 1941. These refugees were placed in camps in countries to the east of the Mediterranean and Egypt. MERRA was a fusion of the Repatriation Office with the Relief Section of the Minister of State Office, both British. The impact of the refugee movement by the British Military necessitated a single organization to move refugees and administer the camps where these people were temporarily housed. The exact date of MERRA's organization is not known because fire destroyed the records. One document has given 1 July 1942 as the official date of organization.
MERRA was active in administering refugee camps for a period of three years. During this brief period the Mennonite Central Committee, Inc., Akron, PA, assigned a total of 15 of its foreign relief workers to refugee camps at El Shat and Tolumbat, both in Egypt. In May 1944 MERRA was absorbed by UNRRA (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration), a United Nations civilian organization of world-wide scope. At this time MERRA became the Balkan Mission, an administrative section of UNRRA. Mennonite Central Committee was not a part of MERRA.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 681. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Byler, J N. "Middle East Relief and Refugee Administration." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M5340.html.
APA style: Byler, J N. (1957). Middle East Relief and Refugee Administration. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M5340.html.