World Red Cross Red Crescent Day 2023

Mon 8th May 2023


The first Red Cross & Red Crescent Day was held in 1948. This event is supported by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement; a humanitarian movement which aims to protect peoples lives and health, alleviate or prevent suffering and ensure respect is given to all.

History Of Red Cross & Red Crescent Day

Prior to this observance and following the end of the First World War, there had been an initiative known as the 'Red Cross Truce'. Initially this was a three day truce in former Czechoslovakia which took place during Easter time.

At that time, there was general consensus that people wanted peace following years of fighting.

The Red Cross Truce led the way for a global peace initiative to be introduced. After the Second World War, and following approval by the Red Cross Executive Committee, the proposal for a worldwide peace day was accepted.

The first Red Cross & Red Crescent Day was held in 1948 on the 8th of May. This date coincides with the birthday of Henry Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross. Each year, Red Cross & Red Crescent Day is supported by Red Cross organizations around the world.

The Work Of The Red Cross

The provision of a blood collection agency is a main focus of The Red Cross. People are encouraged to support the Red Cross by donating blood. In the US almost 5 million people require a blood transfusion each year. The volume of blood donated to the Red Cross is enough for 21,000 blood transfusions a day.

The work of the Red Cross also includes first aid, emergency response, health and social care, preparing for disasters, refugee services and helping people find missing families. During times of war, the Red Cross helps to protect people in armed conflict.

A Theme Is Often Set For This Event

During some years a theme is set which provides a focus for activities surrounding Red Cross and Red Crescent Day. For example, in 2010 the theme was 'Urbanization'. People were made aware of the consequences, present and future, of the recent phenomenon that more people are now living in urban areas than in rural areas.

Increased urbanization has made the work of the Red Cross more complex.

A greater number of people who now live in urban areas face exposure to hazards, insecurity and have poor access to services such as food, health care and water.

When a disaster such as a tsunami or earthquake strikes densely populated urban areas, the consequences can be immense.

The urbanization theme helps people recognize the important work the Red Cross is doing in these areas and why people should support this organization.