Funds and medals

The ICRC administers a number of funds established over the past century by special donations from individuals or organisations. These have various aims: to help promote and develop the activities of the Red Cross/Red Crescent and international humanitarian law; to recognise the merits of individuals who have made particular contributions to its work; or to provide support to staff in difficulties because of their work in crises.

The Empress Shôken Fund was initiated in 1912 by the Empress of Japan to promote “relief work in time of peace”. Each year it decides on the attribution of grants to national Red Cross or Red Crescent societies for projects including disaster preparedness, health, blood, youth and first aid.

The Florence Nightingale medal was established by national societies in honour of the renowned English nurse of the 19th century. It is awarded to nurses or nursing aides who have distinguished themselves in times of peace or war; it may be awarded posthumously if the recipient has died while working in a conflict zone.

The French Fund Maurice de Madre provides assistance for staff of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, or their families, who are in difficult circumstances as a result of serious injury in the course of their work, illness or death. It was established after a bequest to the ICRC by Count Maurice de Madre in 1970.

The Paul Reuter Fund encourages the publication of works on international humanitarian law; to that end it awards a prize every two years. The fund was set up in 1983 through a donation made to the ICRC by the late Paul Reuter, Professor Emeritus at the University of Paris and member of the Institut de droit international.