World Red Cross and Red Crescent day 2020

Celebrating the amazing work of health care workers and volunteers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Article 05 May 2020

This year, we mark the World Red Cross and Red Crescent day during unprecedented circumstances. Around the world, health care workers and volunteers have mobilized to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health systems in many countries are already stretched with limited health care financing and resources due to the coping of endemic diseases, natural disasters and protracted conflicts. As the COVID-19 pandemic moves to resource-poor and conflict-affected countries, it poses an unprecedented challenge to the increase in the burden on already strained health systems and its impact on the most vulnerable populations can be catastrophic.

We want to voice our gratitude for their work, and our indebtedness to their service. Doing what they do isn't easy. Still, our staff and volunteers keep going.

One movement for humanity

Every day, our staff and volunteers work with people facing the worst moments of their lives – crises, war and disaster. They are the first responders and frontline ambassadors of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

The growing strength and reach of our global network is because of people like them: around the world, in dangerous and unstable places, neutral, independent and impartial humanitarian action has the best chance to reach those most in need. If we can ever claim to be everywhere for everyone, it will also be because of people like them.

Get involved!

You can be a part of World Red Cross and Red Crescent day wherever you are:

Protecting health care workers

The safety and protection of health care workers and health care infrastructure is paramount during this pandemic. Health care workers can be the target of violence and abuse as they are on the frontline of the COVID-19 response and working with often distressed families and communities.

Ensuring that health care workers are safe and able to carry out their jobs is crucial for their protection and indeed to ensure the continuing care of people affected by the disease. 

Health care workers supporting people affected by COVID-19 must be acknowledged for the crucial role they play on the frontline of response. They are facing unique hardships during this pandemic, working in extraordinary circumstances, likely to feel under pressure and stress, and in many cases worried about transmitting the disease to their families.

We are supporting our health staff, and making the call globally, to take care of themselves, including taking sufficient rest during work or between shifts, eating well, engaging in physical activity, and staying connected with family and friends.

Some health care workers may unfortunately experience avoidance by their family or community owing to stigma or fear. They need to stay connected with their loved ones and turn to their colleagues as they may be having similar experiences.