The ICRC, established in 1863, works worldwide to ensure humanitarian protection and assistance for people affected by conflict and armed violence. It takes action in response to emergencies and at the same time promotes respect for international humanitarian law (the law that limits the effects of war) and its implementation in national legislation. An independent and neutral organization, its mandate is based on the Geneva Conventions of 1949.
Based in Geneva, Switzerland, it employs some 13,000 people in 80 countries, with more than 1,700 specialized staff and generalists currently on field missions, while 950 people are working in the headquarters. The ICRC’s annual budget has been in the region of 1.5 billion USD. Its principal donors are governments, regional organisations, national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, municipal authorities, the private sector and members of the public. National societies also make an important contribution in terms of specialized personnel.