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Where does your money go

14-05-2014 Overview

Every contribution is important to the ICRC and we grateful are for each contribution we receive. Your generosity will help us alleviate the suffering of conflict victims worldwide and is a source of encouragement to the ICRC in Geneva and its delegates in the field.

The ICRC is funded by contributions from the States party to the Geneva Conventions (governments), national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, supranational organizations (such as the European Commission) and public and private sources. All funding is voluntary.

The ICRC does not wait to receive funds before it responds to urgent needs in the field, and counts on the goodwill of its contributors to provide the funds as quickly as possible.


Your donation will help us meet the most important needs in a conflict zone. You have an opportunity to specify which country or programme you want to support when making a donation; however, we cannot accept donations for a specific school, village, project, group of individuals or a specific area in a country. Experience shows that the more restrictive the earmarking policy (whereby donors require that their funds be allocated to a particular region, country, programme, project or goods), the more limited the ICRC’s operational flexibility, to the detriment of the people that the ICRC is trying to help.

On our online donation platform, we kindly ask you to choose among the countries proposed on the donation form or on the check form. All donations allocated to another country will be allocated to the ICRC's most in need activities, as the ICRC might not conduct any activity in the country you mentioned or its activities might already be funded.

The ICRC undertakes to use your donation for the operation you choose. Your donation will be entirely allocated to that country less 6.5 % (overhead). As a contribution to the costs of headquarters' support for operations in the field, an additional 6.5 % is added to the cash and services expenditure for each field operation.


At the end of each year, the ICRC launches two budget appeals, to cover its activities in the field and at the headquarters during the coming year. Operational information and statistical and financial tables (based on the original appeals) are combined in an Annual Report.

To ensure that donors' contributions are put to the best possible use, the ICRC applies elaborate management tools. Planning, monitoring and evaluation procedures are subject to constant review. ICRC auditors, both internal and external (Ernst & Young), keep a sharp eye on finances. Their skill and vigilance ensures that donors are provided with reliable information on the utilization of resources. ICRC's accounts are prepared in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).


ICRC water project