International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is the world’s largest humanitarian organization. Its mission is to provide assistance to vulnerable communities without discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. The International Federation is made up of 185 member Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Its Secretariat is located in Geneva and is supported by more than 60 delegations worldwide.
The IFRC carries out relief operations to assist victims of disasters, and combines this with development and risk-reduction activities designed to help make vulnerable communities stronger and more resilient in the face of future emergencies. The organization also works to strengthen the capacity of its member National Societies to respond to disasters. The Federation's work focuses on four core areas: promoting humanitarian values, disaster response, disaster preparedness, and health and community care. The sharp increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, such as cyclones and droughts, in recent years has prompted the IFRC to devote more attention to disaster preparedness and risk-reduction activities worldwide. Health and community care have also become cornerstones of humanitarian assistance and account for a large part of Red Cross and Red Crescent spending. These programmes are aimed at helping communities to reduce their vulnerability to disease, and to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies.
The IFRC’s Global Agenda supports the UN’s Millennium Development Goals by aiming to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by disasters and disease, while increasing the capacity of communities to address vulnerability. It also aims to promote respect for diversity and human dignity, and reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion.
The IFRC’s Secretariat represents its 185 National Societies to UN agencies, international organizations and NGOs. National Societies also work closely with some of these organizations at the national level. The IFRC, together with National Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross, make up the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.