Norwegian Refugee Council - History


-24 May 1946, Norway: following Fridtjof Nansen, who created a passport for refugees and stateless persons under the aegis of the League of Nations in the 1930s, NRC is established under the name of “Aid to Europe” to help the populations displaced on the continent in the course of the Second World War. Launched to collect food and, later, funds, the organisation isn’t operational at the beginning. Abroad, its programmes are run by the Norwegian Red Cross, NPA (Norwegian People’s Aid) or missionaries.
-December 1947, Norway: Aid to Europe gets institutionalised and sets up a board of directors which includes representatives from the Norwegian Red Cross, NPA, fisheries and women movements. NCA (Norwegian Church Aid) and Redd Barna (Save the Children) become member organisations later on, followed by the Norwegian sections of Amnesty International, Caritas and CARE in the 1980s. NRC also includes specialised committees for Spain, Tibet, South Africa, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Algeria and Jewish communities.
-1948, Norway: in a country which receives American relief, Aid to Europe finds it difficult to carry on humanitarian programmes and its coordination role is taken by a Committee under the ministries of Commerce and Social Affairs from 1948 until 1950.
-1949, Norway: within Aid to Europe, the ministry of Social Affairs’ delegate, Kaare Salvesen, opposes the NGOs representative, Andreas Grasmo. The former wants NRC to focus on the integration of refugees in Norway; the latter, that it develops international programmes. At the end, it is decided that at least 50% of the organisation’s work will benefit to displaced people, instead of the poor in their homeland.