8 May 2023
Henry caring for the wounded in Solferino, Hilda helping hurricane victims in Port Vila, Mohamed monitoring the nutritional condition of the inmates in Baidoa prison, Yulima teaching first aid to people with disabilities in Maracay, and Luna rescuing migrants on the shore of Ceuta – they, like many Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers around the world, offer care, a hand of compassion and a life-changing breath of humanity to those who are most vulnerable. #FromTheHeart
Today, on World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, we celebrate the legacy of Henry Dunant – whose vision led to the creation of the worldwide Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – and the countless volunteers who came after him. Their unwavering commitment and exemplary dedication to helping anyone in need, anywhere and to upholding our Fundamental Principles at all times – whether responding to natural hazards, climate crises, conflicts, health emergencies, displacement, or migration – is admired around the world.
We nonetheless face tremendous challenges in carrying out our humanitarian action in a world beset by uncertainty and so many complex and multi-dimensional crises.
International attention is diverted from protracted and low-visibility crises, and resources are lacking to ensure the continuity of aid to those most in need and sustain the local action of humanitarian organizations and workers who are closest to the affected communities.
Natural hazards, climatic disasters and health emergencies are multiplying and reaching unprecedented scale.
The parties involved in armed conflicts and violence often ignore some of the most basic rules of humanitarian law and hamper neutral and impartial humanitarian organizations’ access to vulnerable people – access that should be free and safe. While there are those who challenge humanitarian principles, principled humanitarian action is as vitally important as ever.
Our Red Cross and Red Crescent family is at the forefront of humanitarian assistance and ensuring protection for those who need it most. The world has increasingly seen how effective our Movement can be in addressing overlapping crises and providing principled humanitarian assistance. Our strength lies in our unity, our determination to carry forward the ideals of neutral, impartial, independent humanitarian action and our commitment to the humanitarian cause.
Today, we celebrate the millions of Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers and staff around the world, who every day in their respective countries, regions and communities carry forward the determination of Henry Dunant to provide hope and dignity in the midst of despair to people in vulnerable situations without distinction or thought of personal gain.