Worldwide humanitarian assistance in disasters and armed conflicts

The German Red Cross provides essential humanitarian support worldwide for people affected by crisis situations. Whether in natural disasters or armed conflicts. There are many dire situations in which we support a national red cross or red crescent sister society ‑ our humanitarian assistance has many faces. Natural disasters such as storms, earthquakes or flooding cause severe suffering and require joint relief efforts by our international Red Cross/Red Crescent movement.

Epidemics and famines threaten lives especially of the most vulnerable people. Assisting them is an important task. In armed conflicts especially the civil population is suffering. This is where we can help together with our sister societies, for example, with medical care, emergency shelters and food. Very often we only have access to the most vulnerable because of our principles of neutrality and impartiality. And because of you and your donation.

The Red Cross provides help worldwide

Tornadoes, earthquakes and flooding can very quickly threaten the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people and even annihilate them. The losses and damage are often enormous—which is why the Red Cross and the Red Crescent Societies are on the scene as quickly as possible to provide humanitarian aid for the population. Some topical examples of particularly devastating natural disasters are the typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013 and the two major earthquakes in Nepal in 2015. At present further internationally coordinated measures for reconstruction aid are in progress.


  • Nothilfe - DRK im Einsatz

    What we do in emergency relief

    Extreme weather disasters often leave people in the affected areas vulnerable. Earthquakes, floods or storms quickly destroy entire regions and existences.
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  • DRK bei der Nothilfe

    GRC coordination of the emergency relief

    International collaboration and clear coordination with the current political and legal situations of all nations are essential prerequisites for the performance of efficient emergency relief by the GRC.
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  • [Translate to Englisch:] Katastrophen Nothilfe


    When an earthquake shakes a region, a cyclone destroys houses and belongings or a tidal wave floods whole tracts of land, the people affected are in need of rapid help. In a disaster situation, within an extremely short period of time the GRC can put a relief aircraft into the air that will transport vital goods to the disaster region.
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Strengthening resilience - through sustainable reconstruction strategies

In case of a disaster the affected population is in need of fast and coordinated support. At the same time reconstruction has to be planned and initiated which requires taking a long-term perspective. Therefore the GRC reconstruction programs aim to link relief activities with the development and implementation of adequate and sustainable solutions.

Adequate and adapted shelter and infrastructure is of fundamental importance for the resilience of a society with regard to natural hazards. International standards have to be adapted to the respective regional and cultural requirements. Further, integrating disaster risk reduction and preparedness, community development and aiming for technical, economic and environmental sustainability is vital to enhance resilience. Technical solutions have to be planned keeping all this in mind.

GRC aims to strengthen resilience through a participatory development of shelter and infrastructure solutions involving all stakeholders and looking beyond the mere technical aspects. The capacities and needs of the affected families are the guiding principles for any reconstruction strategy. Thanks to its experience, infrastructure and network the GRC looks back on a vast range of successful programs helping people to recover from disaster and conflict.

Help people help themselves and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

People can not only count on the GRC in emergency situations, but also in the rehabilitation phase and in long term projects of the development cooperation that are always guided by the seven fundamental principles of the RCRC Movement: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality.

The GRC supports affected people after a crisis, a conflict or a disaster to rebuild long term perspectives and to sustainably improve their living conditions.

The GRC is especially working in developing countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean and in South America which are highly prone to disasters. It supports the population groups that are vulnerable to crises and disasters, especially poor people, women, children, elderly as well as disabled People.

Through disaster preparedness and mitigation programmes, the GRC supports the vulnerable population to be better prepared for natural hazards and to reduce the risks, especially in disaster prone areas. Food security measures ensure that food requirements are met and access to food is improved. Health programmes focus on better access to appropriate, community based health care and First Aid. Water, sanitation and hygiene projects enable a permanent access to secure sources of drinking water and appropriate sanitary solutions and raise hygiene awareness. Through activities that secure peoples' livelihoods, the GRC improves vulnerable household’s access to income and resources to cover their basic needs.

In its development cooperation the GRC works together with the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and contributes to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.


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