On June 5th, Marshall gave a commencement address at Harvard. He stated: "It is logical that the United States should do whatever it is able to do to assist in the return of normal economic health in the world, without which there can be no political stability and no assured peace. Our policy is directed, not against any country or doctrine, but against hunger, poverty, desertion, and chaos."
The plan was the clear reaction to the slow recovery of Europe from the destruction of World War II and the fear that the economic crisis that was engulfing Europe would lead to a strengthening of Communism in Europe.
On April 3, 1948 the Economic Cooperation Administration Act was signed into law and providing the legal framework for the aid. By 1951 a total of $13 Billion was granted to European governments, with the first aid going to Greece and Turkey.