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Humanitarian policy and partnerships

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Australia works with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) because it is one of the world's largest and most respected humanitarian organisations. ICRC protects the lives and dignity of people affected by conflict, including those displaced from their homes. It can reach people in need in the most difficult environments, such as protecting people affected by fighting in Syria, or providing life-saving healthcare in rural Myanmar.

Australia’s work with ICRC is guided by a multi-year partnership which ensures that in ICRC’s programs to protecting and assisting communities affected by conflict, our aid program priorities of protection, gender and disability inclusion are effectively addressed.

In 2019-20 Australia provided $27.5 million in core funding to the ICRC to:

  • protect civilians affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence, including victims of sexual violence
  • promote and strengthen adherence to international humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles through training and advocacy
  • deliver emergency medical assistance, food, water and shelter to affected communities, including detainees and displaced people.

In 2019, the ICRC provided food aid, food production, income support and essential household items to 14.2 million people. It delivered medical assistance to over 12.2 million people, and helped build and maintain critical water and sanitation infrastructure benefitting 33.8 million people. The organisation also worked with over 153,000 people worldwide to reconnect with family members who had gone missing or were detained as a result of armed conflict, unrest and migration.

ICRC has a mandate in international law to protect the lives and dignity of people affected by conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance. The organisation also works to promote and strengthen international humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles.

ICRC has a mandate in international law to protect the lives and dignity of people affected by conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance. In addition to humanitarian operations, the ICRC also works to promote and strengthen international humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles, including through research such as its Roots of Restraint in War study and advocacy such as its Healthcare in Danger campaign.

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