The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, providing assistance without discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions.
Founded in 1919, the International Federation comprises 186 member Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, a Secretariat in Geneva and more than 60 delegations strategically located to support activities around the world. There are more societies in formation. The Red Crescent is used in place of the Red Cross in many Islamic countries.
The Federation’s vision: We strive, through voluntary action, for a world of empowered communities, better able to address human suffering and crises with hope, respect for dignity and a concern for equity.
Our mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. Vulnerable people are those who are at greatest risk from situations that threaten their survival, or their capacity to live with an acceptable level of social and economic security and human dignity. Often, these are victims of natural disasters, poverty brought about by socio-economic crises, refugees, and victims of health emergencies.
The role of the International Federation
The Federation carries out relief operations to assist victims of disasters, and combines this with development work to strengthen the capacities of its member National Societies. The Federation’s work focuses on four core areas: promoting humanitarian values, disaster response, disaster preparedness, and health and community care.
The unique network of National Societies – which cover almost every country in the world – is the Federation’s principal strength. Cooperation between National Societies gives the Federation greater potential to develop capacities and assist those most in need. At a local level, the network enables the Federation to reach individual communities. The role of the Secretariat in Geneva is to coordinate and mobilize relief assistance for international emergencies, promote cooperation between National Societies and represent these National Societies in the international field.
The role of the field delegations is to assist and advise National Societies with relief operations and development programmes, and encourage regional cooperation.
The Federation, together with National Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross, make up the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
More information on the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies please visit their website www.ifrc.org