The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was established in 1863 by Henry Dunant. It is an independent neutral organization, ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of war and armed violence. It takes action in response to emergencies and at the same time promotes respect for international humanitarian law and its implementation in national law. Its mandate stems essentially from the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols.
Based in Geneva, Switzerland, it employs some 12,000 people in 80 countries; it is financed mainly by voluntary donations from governments and from national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies.
The ICRC is governed by the Assembly, the Assembly Council (the subsidiary body with certain delegated powers) and the Directorate (the executive body). Both the Assembly and the Assembly Council are chaired by the President of the ICRC Peter Maurer, who has been in this position since July 1, 2012.
In line with its mission, the ICRC has identified the following broad strategic orientations for the 2015-2018 period: reinforcing the scope of action (the Committee will increase the relevance and effectiveness of the support it provides to people suffering because of armed conflicts and other situations of violence); strengthening contextualized, multidisciplinary response to existing challenges; optimize performance (will strike an appropriate balance between achieving consistency throughout the organization and maintaining operational flexibility in managing its performance).
As a priority in our country’s relations with the ICRC remains the Committee’s cooperation with the National Red Cross Society in Ukraine in helping those affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Currently the Committee has opened six offices in our country - in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk, Severodonetsk, Mariupol and Odessa. The Organization is actively involved in mobilizing resources to the affected areas; in particular, the ICRC provides Ukrainian families, displaced persons and hospitals with home repair materials (glass, concrete, roofing materials), food, warm clothing, medical supplies, medicine and so on.