8 incredible photos to honor World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day
If the road ends, just take a boat. Back in 1998, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) needed to access remote areas in Colombia. So they had to get creative. Global Red Cross and Red Crescent teams often gain access to places that no other humanitarian organization can reach. Photo: William Torres
Migrants fleeing Libya are often forced into overcrowded wooden boats as they seek safety and a better life across the Mediterranean Sea. More than 65 million people around the globe have been displaced from their homes. The Red Cross and Red Crescent network provides lifesaving aid along migratory routes in countries of origin, transit and arrival. Photo: Mathieu Willcocks/MOAS
Severely malnourished, 40-day-old Irfan arrived at the Red Cross field hospital in Cox's Bazar weighing just 3.7 pounds. Midwife and nurse, Anne Fjeldberg, is overjoyed to see him alert and recovering well. American Red Cross is one of many Red Cross and Red Crescent teams providing support to families from Myanmar seeking safety in Bangladesh. Photo: Antony Balmain/Australian Red Cross
A sniffer dog in Iran helps with search-and-rescue efforts following a 7.3 magnitude earthquake on the border with Iraq. Red Crescent teams distributed relief supplies like tents, blankets, kitchen sets, hygiene items, water, rice, and other food in the disaster’s aftermath. Photo: TASNIM
Teams in South Sudan prepare the ground for an air drop from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Air drops—food from the sky—are typically the last option to deliver supplies to people in need. But in many parts of South Sudan air drops have become the only option. Conflict has made more efficient deliveries by road impossible. Photo: Olav A. Saltbones/Norwegian Red Cross
Luk Maya and Surendra plow a plot of land in the terraced fields of Kaule, Nepal—an area heavily impacted by the 2015 earthquake. The Red Cross helped the siblings and their community during the emergency and have restored irrigation in their fields. Photo: Brad Zerivitz/American Red Cross
A Kenya Red Cross volunteer leads the way through flood waters after torrential rains this year. More than 210,000 people have so far been forced to flee their homes. Red Cross teams are providing emergency relief, including health services and shelter, even as rising flood waters continue to wreak havoc. Photo: Kenyan Red Cross
Will and Ylla cross use a log and a bamboo handrail to cross over water from recent rains in the Philippines. Red Cross and Red Crescent teams stop at nothing to deliver aid to families impacted by disaster. Photo: Brad Zerivitz/American Red Cross
May 8 is World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day. It’s a time to recognize the staff and volunteers who traverse their communities, their countries, and the globe to alleviate human suffering.
1 in 25 people in the world is helped by the Red Cross or Red Crescent each year. Often putting their lives at risk, teams deliver aid in line with seven fundamental principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality.
Together, Red Cross and Red Crescent teams not only respond to emergencies—such as earthquakes, conflicts, migration crises, and health epidemics—but also help neighborhoods prepare for future disasters and ensure that children receive the vaccines they need to stay healthy. Our network is active in nearly country and are in some of the most dangerous places— a true front-line organization that helps those most impacted by conflict and disaster.
Red Cross and Red Crescent workers personify the true meaning of humanitarianism. They number 1 of every 470 people in the world. Neutrality and impartiality allow teams to work in areas that are off-limits to other organizations—granting access to men, women, and children who need help the most.
May 8, 2018 would have been Henry Dunant's 190th birthday. The father of modern humanitarianism, Henry Dunant was a Swiss businessman and social activist, the founder of the Red Cross, and the first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, for what was described as the supreme humanitarian achievement of the 20th century. A contemporary of Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, the two led the charge on opposite sides of the Atlantic in creating what would become a tremendous force for good in the world—bringing help and hope to those affected by disasters and conflict.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.