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May 8 is World Red Cross Day

05/08/2022 4:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

World Red Cross Red Crescent Day is May 8 on the birthday of Henri Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross Movement. In 1919, after World War I, Red Cross Truce Day honored "the spirit of Volunteers providing medical help to everyone without distinction".   The first Red Cross Day was celebrated on May 8, 1948.   And in 1984, the official title became World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day.


Below is a message from Jagan Chapagain, Secretary General, IFRC...

Dear colleagues,

I’m writing to you upon my return from Kenya, where I was on mission to see first-hand the challenges faced by communities affected by drought, and how Red Cross volunteers are supporting them.

Above all, this crisis is being driven by climate change. Communities here are suffering their fourth season without rain. The areas affected were previously hit by serious flooding and a locust infestation, both of which damaged agricultural land. When COVID-19 arrived in the country, it affected countless livelihoods and reduced the remittances that used to flow from urban to rural areas.

This is just one complex crisis among many in today’s unsettled and hazardous world. But while disasters, conflict and hardship have always been with us, so too have kindness and hope.

Thursday, 5 May, was the anniversary of the founding of our IFRC. I wrote some reflections on our history and some of the challenges we are facing today - such as the conflict in Ukraine; the COVID-19 pandemic; and the impacts of climate change. I also recorded a message while in our Regional Office for Africa.

With challenges like these, I wondered, can a simple idea – like Henry Davison’s 1919 decision to bring National Societies together as a force for good - still help to heal the world?

I believe it can – and will. Because there are nearly 15 million reasons to have hope: our 14.9 million dedicated Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers giving freely of their time, their skills, and their kindness.

Together, in 2020, we were able to reach more than 688 million people with disaster and other emergency response services; some 306 million with health activities, and 125 million with clean water and sanitation assistance.

These volunteers, and 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, were supported by every single one of you – the staff of the global Secretariat. I am so proud of your hard work and the dedication you show every day.

On World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, 8th May, we will celebrate our volunteers and staff, and every individual act of kindness that brings comfort to people across the world.

In the Secretariat, we should also take time to thank each other, recommit to supporting one another, and to living the theme of this year’s celebration: believe in the power of kindness, and #BeHumanKIND.

Best wishes,


Jagan Chapagain
Secretary General, CEO

Read more from the ICRC
Watch video message from Jagan Chapagain
Watch video message from World Red Cross Red Crescent Day from Mrs. Mercedes Babe, Chair of the Standing Commission of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent, Mr. Francesco Rocca, President of the IFRC, and Me Peter Maurer, President of the ICRC

Special thanks to  Michael Stone, President IFRC Alumni

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