The American Red Cross helps vulnerable people around the world to prevent, prepare for, and respond to disasters, complex humanitarian emergencies, and life-threatening health conditions.
The American Red Cross accomplishes this goal by working within the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement —the world’s largest humanitarian network with 181 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and more than 100 million volunteers. In all our work, we abide by the seven fundamental principles : humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality.
The American Red Cross works to build the local capacities of our partner Red Cross and Red Crescent societies by strengthening their leadership, financial management, volunteer networks, and technical capabilities. We also work with our Movement partners to train and organize volunteers and educate communities to empower them with the skills and knowledge they need to help themselves. To ensure that programs are comprehensive, the American Red Cross establishes partnerships with other public and private organizations whose capabilities strengthen and complement our initiatives.
International Services initiatives focus on primary health care, emergency response and preparedness, restoring family links, and the dissemination of international humanitarian law. For each of these priority areas, we promote cost-effective, community-based programs, which target large numbers of people with humanitarian aid that is rapid, effective, and large-scale.
Primary health care – Our primary health initiatives focus on reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, and combating infectious diseases.
Emergency response and preparedness – Our emergency response activities focus on relief supply distribution, water and sanitation services, and family linking. We also implement disaster preparedness programs to create more resilient communities with decreased dependence on external relief assistance.
Restoring family links – In collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross and 181 national societies, the American Red Cross works to locate loved ones who are missing due to war, natural disaster, or civil unrest and sends Red Cross messages between separated family members.
Dissemination of International Humanitarian Law – The American Red Cross educates the American public about the guiding principles of international humanitarian law, as set forth by the Geneva Conventions of 1949.
The American Red Cross is currently working with our partner Red Cross and Red Crescent societies on projects related to health, nutrition, water and sanitation, and disaster preparedness throughout the world .