When fighting breaks out, people caught up in the violence need help quickly. For this reason, the ICRC maintains an operational presence in areas of armed conflict and other violence, as well as offices and delegations in key capitals and cities that serve as important regional hubs for the coordination and distribution of aid.

We have delegations and missions in some 80 countries around the world. The vast majority of our 14,000-plus employees are nationals of the countries in which they work. At our headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, almost 900 staff draw up and implement organization-wide policies and strategies in addition to providing vital support and oversight for our field operations.

Our field delegations may cover one country or, in the case of regional delegations, several. They carry out a range of activities, depending on the situation and the needs. These include:

  • material aid for people affected by existing or emerging armed confl icts or other violence and striving to ensure they are protected; and
  • preventive action, work with the Federation and National Societies, and “humanitarian diplomacy” (using our influence with States and others to effect improvements).

Our delegations also act as an early warning system to enable a swift and effective response when armed conflict or other violence erupts.

For more information: ICRC worldwide page