150 years of humanitarian action, with a focuson Afghanistan

A century and a half after the creation of the ICRC, humanitari-anism is alive and well — but it faces great hurdles. Our story starts on two tracks: a historical timeline beginning just before the Movement’s founding; and an exploration of a current-day conflict that is emblematic of the gains and challenges faced by humanitarians today.

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Movement in Myanmar

Movement in Myanmar

Humanitarian History: quiz


Focus on Afghanistan
“I could not leave these women”
While our timeline reports on the first National Societies and the creation of the Geneva Conventions, our feature story focuses on an Afghanistan Red Crescent worker whose commitment exemplifies what has driven humanitarians since the beginning.

Focus on Afghanistan
The impulse to help
From the Movement’s earliest days, the impulse to help others has led ICRC, IFRC and National Society delegates to head off, often by themselves, to struggle in complex and sometimes dangerous situations.

Focus on Afghanistan
“He did not forget”
The idea was born in Solferino when Movement founder Henry Dunant came across a dying soldier who wanted to send a message to his parents.

Forgotten disasters
Silent killers
Established in the wake of the First World War, the League of Red Cross Societies (now IFRC) is responding to more and more natural disasters. Today, with disasters ever more frequent, the IFRC says humanitarian and development groups need to help communities reduce risk and build resilience.

Second World War
March to the brink
The Second World War prompted a massive humanitarian response and presented some of humanity’s greatest challenges: mass aerial bombing of urban areas; the use of two atomic bombs; and the Holocaust.

Echoes from the past, glimpses of the future

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Guest editorial


In Brief
A summary of Red Cross and Red Crescent activities around the world.

Movement history
A humanitarian adventure
As our timeline covers the 1950s to 1970s, we take you behind the scenes at the newly reopened International Museum of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

Women, war and livelihoods
“I can do anything”
As our timeline moves into the 1990s, we look at the story of women permanently wounded by war, now getting back on their feet with the help of new livelihoods.

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Women wounded by war


“If we have water, we have everything”
During conflict and natural disaster, access to clean water is critical.

Fundamental Principles
Horror to hope
A child refugee during the Biafran war, Nigerian writer Okey Ndibe explores the fundamental principle of humanity. We also ask for your thoughts on humanity, 150 years after the Movement was founded.

Your future, your move
What will humanitarian action be like in 10, 20 or 50 years?

Haiti earthquake
Three-year progress
report; Principles in action
in Lebanon; 150 Years of
Humanitarian Action; and more...

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‘The Tree of Humanity’


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