The Red Cross Red Crescent approach to sustainable development

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The foundations of our development role

We are already well known for our vital relief work in disasters and crises, and we remain committed to be the world’s leading humanitarian actor. However, the Red Cross Red Crescent is present not just during disasters, but also much beforehand and long afterwards. Therefore, we are well-placed to be equally effective in development work as that is a long-term business well suited to the long-term outlook, substantial capacities, and permanent presence of the Red Cross Red Crescent.

The Red Cross Red Crescent presence arises from within local communities organised through our National Societies that mobilise local people to respond to their own needs, through local branches and units. These call upon the services of millions of volunteers with many different types of skills.
At the same time, each National Society has a unique, long-established and legally-defined auxiliary partnership with its government. This gives the National Society a privileged place at decision-making tables and access to resources to address national vulnerability. Red Cross Red Crescent services are underpinned by the Fundamental Principles and values that we have developed over a long period, and that continue to inspire the setting of global norms, raising standards, shaping codes of conduct, and establishing legal frameworks.

In summary, our recognised mandate, special position in national life, tested principles and values, long proven professionalism and expertise, and international status, enable us to trigger the mobilisation and expansion of our extensive network and diverse capacities whenever needed. Taken all together, this is the foundation for the powerful Red Cross Red Crescent contribution to promoting human development.