About the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is the largest humanitarian network in the world. Its mission is to alleviate human suffering, protect life and health, and uphold human dignity especially during armed conflicts and other emergencies. It is present in every country and supported by millions of volunteers. Read More


The Components of the Red Cross Red Crescent

International Committee of the Red Cross ( ICRC)

The ICRC, established in 1863, works worldwide to provide humanitarian help for people affected by conflict and armed violence and to promote the laws that protect victims of war. An independent and neutral organisation, its mandate stems essentially from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, it employs some 12,000 people in 80 countries; it is financed mainly by voluntary donations from governments and from national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies. Read more


The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is a global humanitarian organisation, which coordinates and directs international assistance following natural and man-made disasters in non-conflict situations. Its mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilising the power of humanity.


The IFRC works with National Societies in responding to catastrophes around the world. Its relief operations are combined with development work, including disaster preparedness programmes, health and care activities, and the promotion of humanitarian values.


In particular, it supports programmes on risk reduction and fighting the spread of diseases, such as HIV, tuberculosis, avian influenza and malaria. The organization also works to combat discrimination and violence, and promote human rights and assistance for migrants.


The strategic aims of the IFRC are:

  • Save lives, protect livelihoods, and strengthen recovery from disasters and crises

  • Enable healthy and safe living

  • Promote social inclusion and a culture of non-violence and peace


National Societies

There are 187 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world, with more currently being formed. This unique network forms the backbone of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.



Each National Society is made up of volunteers and staff, who provide a wide variety of services, ranging from disaster relief and assistance for the victims of war, to first aid training and restoring family links.

National Societies support the public authorities in their own countries as independent auxiliaries to the government in the humanitarian field. Their local knowledge and expertise, access to communities, and infrastructure enable the Movement to get the right kind of help where it’s needed, fast.


National Society volunteers are often the first on the scene when a disaster strikes and remain active within affected communities long after everyone else has come and gone. Read more