Geneva, 8 May 2021 – Today, we are celebrating World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day. This day is dedicated to staff and volunteers of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement that are reaching and supporting people affected by COVID-19 and other humanitarian crises – a commitment to local community action that is “unstoppable”, its leaders said today.
The Movement is comprised of 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies with 160,000 local branches and around 14 million volunteers worldwide, the ICRC, and the IFRC.
It’s estimated that one in every 636 people in the world is a Red Cross or Red Crescent volunteer.
Together, the Red Cross and Red Crescent have reached 650 million people with health and hygiene promotion activities (one in every 12 people), 106 million people with water and sanitation work (1 in 72 people),have given food or in-kind assistance to some 79 million people (one in every 97 people), and more than one million people were connected with their families through phone or video calls, written or verbal messages.
Mr Francesco Rocca, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said: “There are many serious global challenges to address, such as COVID-19, the climate crisis, and support for people on the move.
“But today we have some 14 million reasons to celebrate: our unstoppable volunteers. Every individual act of kindness and support matters – regardless of how small it may seem. This collective local action has a massive global impact every day.”
Mr Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said: “Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers are on the front line of every crisis, sometimes at risk to their own safety. They work relentlessly, with and for communities to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the worst of situations, in armed conflict, disasters and other humanitarian crises.
“World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day is our opportunity to pay them tribute, they are making a difference all over the world every day and ensure no one is left behind.
A joint statement for the 8th of May signed by the Chair of Standing Commission, Mercedes Babè, IFRC President, Francesco Rocca, and ICRC president, Peter Maurer, can be read here.