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ICRC-IRCS : We move together hand in hand


If we want to be at the forefront of tomorrow’s humanitarian action, our Movement must not just allow change to happen — it must drive the change we know is coming,” said Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), at the meeting of the Council of Delegates in Sydney in November 2013. The meet, which discussed global humanitarian challenges and the future of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, was attended by representatives of the ICRC, the Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

IRCS-ICRS seeds distribution programme for the villagers in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra. ©  Indian Red Cross Society

Each component of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has a specific area of expertise and works in close complementarity with the others to ensure that humanitarian challenges are met in a concrete and collaborative manner. When a situation so demands, in times of violence, disasters or other emergencies, for example the recent devastating Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines or the Syrian crisis, the Movement is able to mobilise its components and scale up its operations to respond rapidly.

This relationship of complementarity is reflected in the ICRC’s partnership with the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS), which has in its leadership Dr S.P. Agarwal as Secretary General. The ICRC has had a valuable association with the IRCS since the time it opened its offices in New Delhi in 1982, enabling a substantial outreach for each partner.

The current issue of the newsletter attempts to recognise this longstanding relationship between the two organisations through features on projects on which the IRCS and the ICRC are collaborating. It is a long journey that we together have pledged to undertake. We remain committed and determined to nurture our partnership and build a stronger and more effective humanitarian response capacity.

The ICRC, along with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and 189 National Societies, comprises the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the largest humanitarian network in the world. Born out of a response to conflict, the Red Cross has grown to encompass natural disasters as well as wider issues like healthcare and threats such as climate change. The Movement draws inspiration from the millions of volunteers around the world who serve humanity and individually and collectively help alleviate the suffering of people caught in the midst of humanitarian tragedies. It is because of their undying spirit and commitment that the Movement has been able to deliver humanitarian aid to countless people over the years.

Mary Werntz
Head of Regional Delegation
New Delhi

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