On 8 May, we commemorate World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, and celebrate local to global humanitarian action. It is a day when we honour the legacy of Henry Dunant, the pioneering volunteer who founded the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement more than 160 years ago. Above all, today is a day that we pay tribute to the millions of volunteers and staff working alongside people in need of protection, assistance, healthcare, social aid and solidarity.

Amid armed conflicts and violence, disasters, climate-related crises, epidemics, food insecurity and mass displacements in some of the world’s most vulnerable situations, our commitment to helping others remains strong. In these challenging times, the Red Cross and Red Crescent emblems we wear are powerful symbols promising protection to people in need. Their universal recognition is crucial to help protect volunteers and staff worldwide as they carry out their life-saving work. Upholding neutral and impartial humanitarian action is paramount and allows our teams to access the most remote, at-risk communities in crisis.

With so many global challenges competing for attention and resources, we are committed to shining a light on and addressing the forgotten crises around the world. In a time of polarization and the dehumanization of various groups, including migrants, neighbouring communities, and even first aid workers, our Movement reinforces the basic principle of humanity, especially in the places where it is most essential to keeping Humanity alive.

Respect for international humanitarian law not only preserves the humanity of people affected by crises, it preserves our own humanity – both today and in the future. Upholding international humanitarian law reflects the Movement’s core values and is essential for ensuring the well-being and dignity of all people in need.

Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers and staff are often the first to respond to to a crisis or disaster. From the most remote corners of the globe and the most challenging contexts, our volunteers and staff are pillars of hope. Every day, they keep humanity alive, providing comfort to people in desperate need – sometimes paying the highest price in the process. This World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, we honour their service, bravery and sacrifice.

Beyond borders and amidst our diverse backgrounds, the unity of our Movement lies in our shared commitment to humanitarian action. Our work is rooted in the principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence. Even in the darkest moments, every act of kindness is a beacon of hope, promising a brighter tomorrow.

On this day, we fondly remember our colleagues who have died while supporting our humanitarian mission and extend our deepest condolences to their loved ones. We also have immense gratitude to all Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers and staff for their unwavering dedication.

Let us continue to work together to keep Humanity alive!


Kate Forbes
Mercedes Babé    Mirjana Spoljaric
IFRC President Standing Commission Chair   ICRC President