International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)


The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is a neutral, impartial, and independent international organization that provides humanitarian assistance and promotes international cooperation in the event of armed conflict, natural disasters, and other emergencies. Founded in 1864, the IFRC is the world’s largest voluntary organization providing emergency aid and assistance to people affected by armed conflict and other disasters.

History and Mission

The IFRC was founded in 1864 in Geneva, Switzerland, as a result of the Crimean War. Its founders recognized the need for an international organization to provide neutral and impartial humanitarian assistance to wounded and sick soldiers. Today, the IFRC works in over 190 countries and territories and has a network of over 18 million volunteers.

The IFRC’s mission is to:

  • Provide emergency aid and assistance to victims of armed conflict and disasters
  • Promote international cooperation in providing assistance
  • Ensure respect for international humanitarian law


The IFRC’s activities include:

  • Providing emergency aid and medical supplies to conflict zones
  • Delivering food, water, and shelter to displaced people
  • Conducting search and rescue operations
  • Establishing temporary shelters for displaced people
  • Providing tracing and family reunification services
  • Supporting the recovery and rehabilitation of survivors

Organizational Structure

The IFRC is governed by a General Assembly, which meets every four years. The Assembly elects a Governing Board, which is responsible for the overall management of the organization. The IFRC has a secretariat, which is headed by the Secretary General.


The IFRC faces several challenges in its work, including:

  • Increasing armed conflict and natural disasters
  • Political interference in humanitarian work
  • Limited access to conflict zones
  • Funding and resource constraints

Future Directions

The IFRC is committed to continuing to provide humanitarian assistance to people in need and to promoting international cooperation. The organization is also working to address the underlying causes of conflict and disaster and to strengthen the capacity of local Red Cross and Red Crescent societies to respond to emergencies.


1. What is the difference between the Red Cross and the Red Crescent?

The Red Cross and Red Crescent are two branches of the same organization. The Red Cross is primarily active in Christian-majority countries, while the Red Crescent is primarily active in Muslim-majority countries.

2. What is the role of the IFRC in armed conflicts?

The IFRC is prohibited from taking part in hostilities but can provide neutral and impartial humanitarian assistance to all parties involved in an armed conflict.

3. How does the IFRC fund its operations?

The IFRC receives funding from a variety of sources, including donations from governments, individuals, and corporations.

4. What are the core principles of the IFRC?

The core principles of the IFRC are neutrality, impartiality, independence, and voluntary service.

5. What are the aims of the IFRC?

The aims of the IFRC are to provide emergency aid and assistance, promote international cooperation, and ensure respect for international humanitarian law.


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