The New Zealand Council of Organisations for Relief Service Overseas, familiarly called CORSO, coordinates the work of many religious, national, youth, labour, medical, relief, and charitable organisations which are interested in relief of distressed areas throughout the world. It was formed on 16 August 1944 and its first main task was to collaborate with the Government in its UNRRA commitments by sending money, food, clothing, and personnel overseas to distressed areas. During 1945 CORSO was permitted to appeal to the public for funds to enable personnel to be sent overseas, and in 1946 it was authorised to collect relief supplies. Another most important function of CORSO is to inform New Zealanders of the need for relief and the work being done.
On the completion of the work of UNRRA in 1947, the relief work of CORSO continued, and since then the following campaigns have been undertaken: the United Nations appeals for children in 1948 and 1950; world refugee year appeals, 1959 and 1960; and freedom from hunger campaign appeal from 1962 to date. In money, £4,000,000 has been given to the work of CORSO up till December 1964. By the end of 1964, £10,500,000 worth of clothing and footwear had been shipped overseas and it is anticipated that over £1,200,000 worth will be sent in 1965. Many parts of the world, but more particularly Greece, India, Hong Kong, and Korea, have benefited from CORSO's activities.
by John Sidney Gully, M.A., DIP.N.Z.L.S., Assistant Chief Librarian, General Assembly Library, Wellington.