Heads of the UN Office and US Embassy in Belarus Honored the Memory of Ruth Waller

On August 5, 2013 UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus Sanaka Samarasinha and U.S. Charge d'Affaires Ethan Goldrich paid tribute to Ruth Waller, one of the first United Nations employees who gave their lives for the good of others.
In 1946 Ruth Waller came to Minsk to work for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA).

On August 5, 2013 UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus Sanaka Samarasinha and U.S. Charge d'Affaires Ethan Goldrich paid tribute to Ruth Waller, one of the first United Nations employees who gave their lives for the good of others.

In 1946 Ruth Waller came to Minsk to work for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA). UNRRA mission was present in Belarus, as in other war–ravaged European countries, to facilitate, coordinate, and provide international assistance to help Belarus recover.

Ruth Waller as a member of the mission provided administrative support to UNRRA. She died on August 4, 1946 of pneumonia which then developed into meningitis, after rescuing three Belarusian boys who were drowning in a lake.

Speaking at the solemn ceremony UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus Sanaka Samarasinha said that “This is particularly significant for us to be here to remember Ruth (While Belarus being one of the founders of the United Nations; and The United States being an active partner of the UN) to celebrate and remember Ruth’s contribution and to remember the work of all of those who worked as part of the United Nations around the world. Americans, Belarusians and many others, who have paid the ultimate sacrifice by giving their life in the service for others”.

The UNRRA mission worked in Belarus from April 1946. The Resident Office of the Mission was located in a mansion house in the Loshitsky Park. In a year and a half, fifteen expatriate staff members of UNRRA helped to distribute US$ 60 million of humanitarian aid in this country ruined by the Nazis.