The Red Cross and Red Crescent societies are present in 189 countries around the world. Together, they make up the largest humanitarian network that reaches 150 million people through the work of over 17 million volunteers. Each society is unique, but they are all bound by Seven Fundamental Principles that guide the work of staff and volunteers both here and abroad.
It is no surprise that the first of these principles is Humanity, which is at the core of our desire to help others, to show kindness in times of need, and to potentially put ourselves in harms way in order to alleviate human suffering. Though the Red Cross initially may have been formed to only assist wounded soldiers on the battlefield, our mission has expanded to provide assistance during natural disasters and emergencies, improve hygiene and public health, collect blood, reunite families, teach first aid and support our military families.
While each individual society cares for its citizens in their own unique way, our core principle of humanity means that we all work to protect life and health, to ensure respect for the human being, and to promote mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation, and lasting peace.