Swiss Red Cross

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The Swiss Red Cross (SRC) is the largest and most important humanitarian organization in Switzerland. Since it was founded in 1866, it has been working for greater humanity, just as Henry Dunant intended.

Largest humanitarian organization in Switzerland

The Swiss Red Cross (SRC) was founded in Bern on 17 July 1866 by General Guillaume Henri Dufour and the federal councillor Jakob Dubs on the initiative of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Its original role was to support the medical services of the Swiss armed forces and act as a welfare service for the families of professional soldiers.

From the outset, the SRC has been working for greater humanity, just as the founder of the Red Cross Movement, Henry Dunant, intended. The SRC is now the largest and most important humanitarian organization in Switzerland.

Organization and structure

The SRC is an association registered under civil law and subject to the Swiss Civil Code. The highest body of the SRC is the Red Cross Assembly, which comprises 97 delegates from the member organizations. The Red Cross Council leads the SRC and represents it in external relations.

The SRC comprises:

Similar to the Swiss Confederation itself, the SRC has a decentralized federal structure. The 24 Red Cross cantonal associations are independent bodies that provide services to meet the needs of their local populations.

In addition to its 24 cantonal associations, the SRC has four rescue organizations. They work alongside the professional rescue services and help the national emergency response units deal with major incidents.

The SRC Humanitarian Foundation is a not-for-profit organization. Its sole purpose is to support campaigns and humanitarian projects run by Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Swiss Transfusion SRC AG ensures that hospitals have a regular supply of blood products. It is an independent private charitable joint stock company.

The SRC headquarters in Bern, Switzerland, handles day-to-day operations and runs a variety of projects in 30 countries around the world. It reports to the Red Cross Assembly and the Red Cross Council. It also acts as a centre of competence and provides various centralized services for the SRC as a whole.

Our partners

Find out more about who we are already partnered with.

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Mission and activities

Humanity is the foundation of everything we do. We work to improve the lot of disadvantaged and vulnerable people throughout Switzerland and around the world. Together with our volunteers and partners, we prevent and alleviate human suffering. The seven Fundamental Principles are the backbone of our work.

These are three areas of activity of the Swiss Red Cross in Switzerland and abroad:

Search, rescue and disaster relief

We strengthen communities, so that they are better equipped to cope with disasters and crises. In this way, we help improve their livelihoods and development prospects.
In Switzerland, we support national search and rescue operations with a wide variety of services provided by volunteers and professionals. We cooperate closely with the government, cantons and local authorities, and maintain close contact with other Swiss rescue organizations.

Health and everyday support

We improve access to health services, to make sure that no one is deprived of quality healthcare, not even the most vulnerable. This helps promote equal health opportunities. We hold training courses for the general public, external service providers, our volunteers and staff. We also manage the blood and stem cell donor services.

Integration and migration

We support migrants in vulnerable situations and raise public awareness of their needs.

How we fund our work

Gain an overview of the various ways in which we fund our many different activities in Switzerland and abroad.

Strategy 2030

Go to the website about the SRC Strategy 2030 (in German). The details of our mission and strategy you can find in the following document:

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