In 1919, Red Cross societies (led by the American Red Cross) established what would become the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The International Federation provides a forum for national societies to discuss common objectives and its Secretariat helps coordinate international relief provided outside of conflict areas.
Today, the International Federation comprises more than 185 Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, a Secretariat based in Geneva and regional delegations strategically located around the world to support global coordination and response.
The International Federation works to alleviate suffering through a range of activities, such as:
- Organizing and coordinating international disaster relief operations
- Providing assistance to refugees outside conflict areas
- Promoting national disaster preparedness programs
- Helping national societies to improve the services they deliver to vulnerable people in their local communities