The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is a global humanitarian organisation, which coordinates and directs international assistance following natural and man-made disasters in non-conflict situations. Its mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilising the power of humanity.

IFRC works with National Societies in responding to catastrophes around the world. Its relief operations are combined with development work, including disaster preparedness programmes, health and care activities, and the promotion of humanitarian values.

In particular, it supports programmes on risk reduction and fighting the spread of diseases, such as HIV, tuberculosis, avian influenza and malaria. The organisation also works to combat discrimination and violence and also promotes human rights and assistance for migrants.

The strategic aims of IFRC are to:

  • save lives, protect livelihoods, and strengthen recovery from disasters and crises
  • enable healthy and safe living
  • promote social inclusion and a culture of non-violence and peace


The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an independent, neutral organization ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence. It takes action in response to emergencies and, at the same time, promotes respect for international humanitarian law and its implementation in national law.

The work of the ICRC is based on the Geneva Conventions of 1949, their Additional Protocols, its Statutes – and those of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – and the resolutions of the International Conferences of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

ICRC responds quickly and efficiently to help people affected by armed conflict. It also responds to disasters in conflict zones, where the effects of a disaster are compounded if a country is already at war. Emergencies are unpredictable, so the ICRC's rapid deployment capability is crucial.