The great majority of Red Cross and Red Crescent services
worldwide are related to improving the health of vulnerable
people. Domestic health and social welfare budgets account
for the largest portion of the annual expenditures of National
Internationally, health activities account for more than
30 per cent of our global emergency appeals amounting to over
US$ 60 million.
These activities emphasize Red Cross and Red Crescent belief
in the direct link between health and development. They are
also a recognition that access to health services is a fundamental
As the largest humanitarian organization we must actively
use our knowledge and resources to convince authorities and
political leaders to declare HIV/AIDS a public health emergency.
The Red Cross and Red Crescent must direct and engage its
enormous volunteer force to step up community-based education
campaigns on avoiding unsafe sex, eradicate discrimination
and eliminate stigmatization of people living with HIV/AIDS.
The Red Cross and Red Crescent must act on the fact that
an estimated 200,000 people working within the Movement globally
are infected with HIV/AIDS. They need the space to contribute
and to lead the Movement's response from within.
What did the Federation achieve at the UN General Assembly
Special Session on HIV/AIDS?
We spoke the unspoken: that the Red Cross and the Red Crescent
has HIV/AIDS. Volunteers and staff living with the virus courageously
represented themselves, their needs, their fears and their
We received global recognition for the key role civil society
has been playing in the AIDS response through social care,
education, prevention and treatment.
We presented to the world the emerging collaboration with
the Global Network of People living with HIV/AIDS (GNP+) to
fight HIV-related stigma.
We voiced our request to world leaders and governments to
commit themselves to concrete action: to create mechanisms
for full engagement of communities in taking care of themselves;
to target adolescents; to involve people living with HIV/AIDS
in education and preventive initiatives; and to provide community
services for children orphaned by AIDS.