IFRC - International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation. Its mission is to assist people and protect their dignity regardless of nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It is made up of 190 National Societies including the Swiss Red Cross.

Main tasks of the IFRC

The main strength of the IFRC is in its unique network of national societies covering nearly the whole world. The IFRC mission includes improving the living conditions of vulnerable groups whose very survival is threatened. This often includes refugees and victims of natural catastrophes, of poverty leading to socio-economic crises and of health crises.

The IFRC coordinates aid operations of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement at times of natural catastrophes. Ancillary to these operations it is involved in development activities to strengthen the capacities of national societies. Its work follows four essential lines: the promotion of humanitarian values, action during disasters, disaster preparedness, health and assistance to people at the community level.

The IFRC and Switzerland

As part of its humanitarian aid, Switzerland has been making a financial contribution to the IFRC Secretariat in Geneva for a number of years.  In 2016 this core contribution amounted to CHF 3.0 million.

Switzerland also provides the IFRC with funding through the SDC’s Humanitarian Aid. These funds are used for operational activities: either long-term programmes to build local and regional capcities (e.g. disaster response capabilities) or relief efforts after a disaster has occured and calls for assistance have been made. A part of this financial aid goes through the Swiss Red Cross, whose president is one of the vice-presidents of the IFRC.