From War to Wealth? The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration and its agricultural reconstruction missions in Southern Europe, 1943-47

This paper discusses the agricultural development activities of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) during and after the Second World War. Based on archival records, the paper examines the rationale for agricultural rehabilitation put forward by UNRRA officials. It argues that the schemes they advocated went beyond the official rhetoric of reconstruction and emergency aid and comprised longterm development ideas of growth and productivity that were modeled after US agricultural expertise and experience. The paper focuses on UNRRA’s agricultural missions in Southern Europe, particularly Italy and Greece, and the attempts to reconfigure allegedly primitive and poor peasant agriculture into a more productive economic activity.