ICRC ( International Committee of Red Cross ) was created in 1863 by “Henry Dunant” with an objective that has been to ensure protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and strife. It does so through its direct action around the world, as well as by encouraging the development of international humanitarian law (IHL) and promoting respect for it by governments and all weapon bearers. Its story is about the development of humanitarian action, the Geneva Conventions, and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

The mission is to alleviate human suffering, protect life and health, and uphold human dignity, especially during armed conflicts and other emergencies.


During the middle of the 19th century, there were no organized and well-established army nursing systems for casualties and no safe and protected institutions to accommodate and treat those who were wounded on the battlefield. In June 1859, the Swiss businessman Henry Dunant traveled to Italy to meet French emperor Napoléon III to discuss difficulties in conducting business in Algeria, at that time occupied by France. When he arrived in the small Italian town of Solferino on the evening of 24 June, he witnessed the aftermath of the Battle of Solferino, an engagement in the Second Italian War of Independence. In a single day, about 40,000 soldiers on both sides died or were left wounded on the field. Henry Dunant was shocked by the terrible aftermath of the battle, the suffering of the wounded soldiers, and the near-total lack of medical attendance and basic care. He succeeded in organizing an overwhelming level of relief assistance by motivating the local population to aid without discrimination. From the terrible incident that occurred, he explicitly advocated the establishment of national voluntary relief organizations to help nurses care for wounded soldiers during wartime, and also called for international treaties to ensure the safety of soldiers.


  • Humanity
  • Impartiality
  • Neutrality
  • Independence
  • Voluntary service
  • Unity
  • Universality


  • At the outbreak of the First World War, based on experience in other conflicts, the ICRC opened a Central Prisoners of War Agency in Geneva, to restore links between captured soldiers and their families.
  • It continued to innovate: its visits to prisoners of war grew during this period and it intervened over the use of arms that caused extreme suffering in 1918 it called on belligerents to renounce the use of mustard gas. That same year it visited political prisoners for the first time, in Hungary.
  • The national societies themselves undertook an unprecedented mobilization that saw volunteers running ambulance services on the battlefield and caring for the wounded in hospitals. For the Red Cross in many countries, it was their finest hour.


  • As described in the ICRC’s mission statement, the organization combines four approaches in its overall strategy after analyzing a situation to, directly or indirectly, in the short, medium, or long term, ensure respect for the lives, dignity, and physical and mental well-being of victims of armed conflict.


  • All Red Cross and Red Crescent activities have one central purpose: to help those who suffer, without discrimination, whether during the conflict, in response to natural or man-made disasters, or due to conditions of chronic poverty. There are three parts of the global Red Cross network.
  • Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an independent humanitarian organization, whose role is defined in the Geneva Conventions. It helps victims of armed conflict and internal crises and coordinates the work of National Societies in these situations.


Ukraine may again be a top headline, but it never stopped being one for the people suffering through the fighting. We support hundreds of thousands of people living close to the line of contact who regularly suffer from disrupted access to medical care, food, water, heating, and electricity, but also to education, social services, and livelihood opportunities. Thousands of people, civilians and those fighting, have been killed, injured, detained, or separated from their loved ones. Hundreds of people are still searching for their missing loved ones.

  • ICRC is appealing for 150 million Swiss francs ($163 million) for its 2022 operations in Ukraine and neighboring countries.
  • Red Cross provides life-saving assistance for hundreds and thousands displaced from Ukraine.
  • Providing protection and assistance to the civilian population, including psychosocial support, as well as to those who no longer participate in hostilities.
  • Distribution of relief assistance (food and non-food items) to the civilian population, including people displaced and people on the move.
  • Provision of first aid and other health services to the wounded and sick in accordance with International humanitarian law (IHL) and Ukrainian legislation; Supporting authorities with dignified management of dead bodies and forensic expertise.