Red Cross full of hope for Russia
On February 17th, 2013, the International Committee of the Red Cross, founded in Geneva in 1863, celebrates its 150th anniversary. Therefore, there is a reason to speak about the most famous and widely respected charitable organization in the world. We will also try to find out what the Red Cross plans about Russia.
The idea of creating the Red Cross
Henry Dunant, who became an accidental witness of bloody combat actions between French and Austrian troops near Trieste in 1859, was so impressed with human suffering and horrors of war, that he decided to do everything possible to prevent this, or at least help those who suffer from wars. He put forward an idea of creating an association which would help those wounded in combat actions. Dunant proposed the idea for consideration to charity organization Geneva Welfare Society. The latter established a committee of five people to address the new and interesting idea.
The Red Cross
The Red Cross is a neutral and independent organization. Its principles are about the moral framework, which should exist between enemies even at the time of war. The frameworks would impose restrictions on means and methods of warfare. The collection of rules and regulations based on this principle presently represent the international humanitarian law. The law is based on the Geneva Conventions that were signed by all nations of the world.
For its dedication, the Red Cross has been awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize three times. Nowadays, the Red Cross employees - more than 12,000 people - are present in almost all hotspots of the world. As many as 1,400 people are specialists of narrow and wide profile, whereas the remaining quantity of approximately 11,000 people are recruited from local population. Over 800 employees at the Red Cross headquarters in Geneva coordinate and support all these activities.
The Red Cross Committee, as an employer, offers equal opportunities to all human beings without any discrimination. The Committee manages various special funds, as well as financial allowances that are meant to assist national societies in conducting their work. In addition, a part of those funds is designed to encourage ICRC employees for their contribution to common work. The work of the committee embraces 80 countries of the world. Owing to this work, namely, by providing humanitarian assistance and protecting those who suffered as a result of combat actions, and distributing the knowledge about the laws protecting the rights of victims of war, the organization enjoys an immense reputation in the world.
The ICRC's interaction with the Russian government
The ICRC believes that Russia should play one of the most important roles regionally and internationally, not only in humanitarian issues, but also in the development of the international humanitarian law. Russia is a huge and powerful country, which the ICRC is very interested to cooperate with. The Russian authorities strongly support this initiative, including the Ministry for Justice, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Ministry for Civil Defence, the Ministry for Emergency Situations, as well as regional organizations and the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly. A number of Moscow partners, with which the Red Cross is working closely, are the EMERCOM Academy, the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, the CSTO and Russia's large institutes and analytical, scientific and research organizations.
In 2012, the Russian Federation assigned more than two million dollars for the Red Cross for the problems related to the Syrian crisis. As for the Red Cross activities in Russia, the organization assigns nearly $15 million a year for the needs of Russia and CIS countries, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova. As for working with other Russian humanitarian organizations, the main Russian partner for the Committee is the Russian Red Cross.
The ICRC also works with both state and federal authorities and other organizations that are willing to cooperate in humanitarian missions.
The work of the Red Cross in Russia
As for the work of the Red Cross in Russia, the organization presently has three main priorities. The first one of them is the strengthening of relations with the Russian Federation, connected with humanitarian, legal and diplomatic issues. The second priority is connected with assistance to the republics of the North Caucasian, whereas the third one is the development of the Russian Red Cross (RRC).
As for the assistance to five republics of the North Caucasus, the organization helped more than 30 thousand people last year. For example, after flash floods in Derbent and Krymsk, the ICRC, together with the RSC, provided humanitarian aid to the victims. However, the primary work to help the population of the North Caucasus is to help the families whose relatives went missing.
Projects of the Russian Red Cross in 2013
The Russian Red Cross is a charitable non-governmental organization affiliated to the International Movement of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Red Crescent (RC), whose ideas united over 500 million people worldwide. Due to the scale of its work, as well as international ties, an extensive network of regional offices and public recognition, the Russian Red Cross is the leading NGO in Russia that is engaged in humanitarian activities.
In 2013, the main activities of the Russian Red Cross will be aimed at humanitarian programs to support the development of health and education, as well as the programs aimed at social assistance to representatives of most vulnerable layers of the population: elderly and lonesome veterans, people with disabilities and children from socially or financially challenged families, orphans, street children, refugees or persons in need of shelter.