The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) works globally to help 160 million people every year with and in support of more than 190-member National Societies. The IFRC’s vision is to inspire, encourage, facilitate and promote at all times all forms of humanitarian activities by National Societies, with a view to preventing and alleviating human suffering, and thereby contributing to the maintenance and promotion of human dignity and peace in the world. There is a National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society in almost every country in the world and we support them both in their programming and in developing their capacities as strong, local organisations.
Together, the IFRC, National Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) form the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. We work closely together and coordinate our work according to our Fundamental Principles and humanitarian values to reach people and communities that others are unable to. We bring hope and relief to communities and individuals, and work to ensure that no one is left behind.
We draw upon the unparalleled community-based expertise of our member National Societies and almost 14 million volunteers to add value to the work we do with other humanitarian organisations, to coordinate and direct international assistance before, during and after natural and human-made disasters. We also channel this local strength to influence global development and humanitarian initiatives in order to improve standards, operations and drive for the achievement of globally-agreed goals.
We are committed to the principle of making humanitarian assistance as local as possible and as international as necessary. National Societies are strong local actors and our support of them directly contributes to strengthening local assistance. The IFRC is proud to co-convene the Grand Bargain’s Localisation Work-stream, as organisations around the world work to turn their commitments into reality. While providing more funding to local actors is crucial, it is equally important to ensure that local organisations are strong, accountable and able to deliver effective programmes.
National Societies are part of the communities they serve and are there to support their long-term needs, not just in times of disaster. We also strive to reduce the risk of disasters, support migrants in all stages of their journeys, and work to improve shelter, health, water, sanitation and address other basic needs. We aim to improve livelihoods, to provide protection to the most vulnerable people, and to encourage gender inclusion throughout all our activities and beyond. We support communities to reduce their vulnerabilities so that they will be more prepared to withstand shocks, and to lead safer, healthier lives.
We carry out this work within the framework of seven areas of focus and four strategies for implementation. Our areas of focus are the thematic areas where we support National Societies in their work. Our strategies for implementation are the critical functions which enable National Societies to deliver high-quality programmes. This 2020 Global Plan will outline our objectives in each of these areas.