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.