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International Day of Friendship is July 30

Updated: Aug 1, 2021

Submitted by Meenakshi Prabhakar

Created by the UN (United Nations) to inspire peace between people all over the world. The Red Cross, through its network of volunteers, strongly stands by its mission to provide assistance to those in need all over the world. In honor of the International Day of Friendship, the Red Cross recognizes its Global Red Cross Network. This network is composed of three parts: the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The Global Red Cross Network is the largest humanitarian network, with volunteers from every nation working together to help those who suffer, without discrimination, in response to disasters, health emergencies, chronic poverty, and even social programs. These volunteers help those in need, when they need it most, even outside of their own native countries, painting the true image of universal humanity and friendship. The key to friendship is compassion, and to be there for one another. Each part of the Global Red Cross Network works harmoniously to help those in need, demonstrating friendship across boundaries.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has one main purpose: to protect the lives of war victims and provide them assistance while respecting international humanitarian law. The ICRC is neutral and independent, therefore they take impartial action in times of conflict to care for the wounded and sick, civilians and prisoners. Some of their operations include organizing relief operations, reuniting separated families through communication, providing medical assistance and other humanitarian activities during armed conflicts.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is composed of over 100 million volunteers who help people in over 150 countries. The IFRC contains 191 national Red Cross or Red Crescent societies. They also work to alleviate suffering during times of peace all around the world. Such humanitarian efforts undertaken by volunteers of the IFRC include coordinating disaster relief efforts, assisting refugees, promoting disaster preparedness programs, health emergencies, and helping improve services to vulnerable communities.The IFRC network aids people of all social backgrounds and nationalities without discrimination, assisting during, after, and before disasters (including health emergencies). They work hard to meet the needs of vulnerable people and operate to prevent disasters. The IFRC is like a friend that stays true to help meet one’s needs at all times.

The National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies all work together and dedicate themselves to the fundamental principles of Humanity, Neutrality, Voluntary Service and Unity. The network between these independent National societies forms the foundation for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Volunteers of each national society are crucial in their own countries as their local expertise allows them to allocate aid wherever needed.

These three branches of the Global Red Cross Network demonstrate the give-and-take, caring, and compassionate elements of friendship while impacting their communities, and the world as a whole. We celebrate their friendships, the friendships of volunteers within communities and those transgressing the globe, and the friendships made through volunteering.

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