Vanuatu Red Cross Society: Our Story

Vanuatu Red Cross provides communities with skills and services in first aid, health and sanitation, disaster preparedness, humanitarian law and emergency response. As a leading community-based non-profit, we depend on volunteers and the generosity of the Vanuatu public and donors to perform our mission 

Vanuatu Red Cross Society was founded on October 11th, 1982 pursuant to Vanuatu Red Cross Society Act No: 23 of 1982, and is a body corporate having perpetual succession and a common seal. Its constitution is based on the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols of 1977, to which Vanuatu is a party, and the fundamental principles of the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement. Red Cross began operating in Vanuatu as a branch of the British Red Cross. 

Vanuatu Red Cross Society endeavours to align its work with that of the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, by following the strategic aims and enabling actions to base its work and meet its commitment in working together with the federation, ICRC, The Vanuatu Authorities, its partners and beneficiaries. 

Our Mission

The fundamental mission of Vanuatu Red Cross Society is to improve the lives of the most vulnerable without discrimination through voluntary service. 


Vanuatu Red Cross Society has a total of 5 Provincial branches with its headquarters located in Port Vila, Shefa Province. Membership is open to everyone. There are three (3) forms of membership: active (volunteers), subscribing (fee-paying) and honorary. We currently have over 500 volunteers, although this number increases when there is an activity needing volunteer support. We regularly seek feedback and involvement in decision making from beneficiaries, volunteers, members, donors and partners organisations. 

Vanuatu Red Cross Society is  a member of the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement (the International Movement) with millions of members and volunteers operating in over 189 countries. The three components of the International Movement are the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), 189 Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies, and the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The Movement's mission is to prevent or reduce human suffering, wherever it is found. Our Fundamental Principles guide us in this mission. There are three major components of the movement. These are:

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) 

ICRC is an impartial, neutral and independent organisation whose humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence and to provide them with assistance. It directs and coordinates the international relief activities conducted by the Movement in situations of conflict. It also endeavours to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles. Established in 1863, the ICRC is the origin of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.  

International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

The IFRC works to inspire, facilitate and promote all humanitarian activities carried out by its member National Societies. Founded in 1919 the IFRC directs and coordinates international assistance of the Movement to victims of natural and technological disasters, to refugees and in health emergencies. It acts as the official representative of its member societies in the international field. It promotes cooperation between National Societies and works to strengthen their capacity to carry out effective disaster preparedness, health and social programs. 

National Societies

National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies embody the work and principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in 189 countries. National Societies act as auxiliaries to the public authorities of their own countries in the humanitarian field, and provide a range of services including disaster relief, health and social programs. During wartime, National Societies assist the affected civilian population and support the army medical services where appropriate. 

Proclaimed in Vienna in 1965, the Fundamental Principles bond together the Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and in the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. In all activities our volunteers, members and staff are guided by the Fundamental Principles. 


The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement endeavours in it's international and national capacity to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. Its purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation and lasting peace amongst all peoples. 

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 8.55.30 AMNED.jpg


It makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It endeavours to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress. 


In order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all, the Movement may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature. 


The Movement is independent. The National Societies, while auxiliaries in the humanitarian services of their governments and subject to the laws of their respective countries, must always maintain their autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act in accordance with the principles of the Movement. 

Voluntary Service

It is a voluntary relief movement not prompted in any manner by desire for gain. 


There can only be one Red Cross or one Red Crescent Society in any one country. It must be open to all. It must carry on its humanitarian work throughout its territory. 


The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in which all Societies have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other, is worldwide.