IRRC No. 242

The International Committee of the Red Cross in the international community

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When one examines the origins and development of the Red Cross, one cannot fail to be struck by the contrast between the modest circumstances surrounding its creation, in 1863, by five men of good will, members of the Société genevoise d'utilité publique, and the worldwide dimension it has since then acquired. Today, the Red Cross is represented in 130 countries, and there are few people who have not at one time or another availed themselves of its services, either perhaps under dramatic circumstances during a conflict or a natural disaster, or simply in the more familiar areas of social welfare and blood collection.

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