The Global Red Cross Network
The American Red Cross is Part of a Global Network Dedicated to Relieving
The international Red Cross and Red Crescent network is the largest humanitarian network in the world with a presence and activities in almost every country.
All Red Cross and Red Crescent activities have one central purpose: to help those who suffer, without discrimination, whether during conflict, in response to natural or man-made disasters, or due to conditions of chronic poverty.
There are three parts of the global Red Cross network. Each has its own individual status and exercises no authority over the others. Learn more below.
The National Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies - Meeting the Needs of Vulnerable People, Wherever They May Be
These organizations are the individual societies of nearly every independent country in the world, chartered by their respective governments. Together, the National Societies assist some 284 million people each year by:
Because each society focuses on helping people within its borders, they also take on tasks based on local needs:
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies - Humanitarian Services in Peacetime
Founded in 1919, the International Federation (IFRC) is the coalition of individual Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies that coordinates peacetime humanitarian relief efforts throughout the world.
Currently, the IFRC is comprised of 187 national Red Cross/Red Crescent societies, a Secretariat in Geneva and more than 60 delegations strategically located to support activities around the world.
The International Federation works to alleviate suffering through a range of activities, such as:
The International Committee of the Red Cross - Humanitarian Help for People Affected by Armed Conflict
Since 1863, the mission of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been to protect and assist victims of armed conflict and promote understanding and respect for international humanitarian law.
As an independent, neutral organization, the ICRC has a permanent mandate under international law to take impartial action for prisoners, the wounded and sick, and civilians affected by conflict, including:
Proud of Our History But Focused on the FutureToday, the Red Cross is preparing to meet the next crisis head on. Now that you’ve learned about our history, please consider joining our efforts.
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