On march 19, 1920, exactly 100 years ago, Armenian Red Cross Society (ARSC) was established. A whole century-long history of humanity.
100 years ago, on the initiative of Doctor Spandarat Kamsarakan, Armenian Red Cross Society was established, with an aim to respond to the disasters faced by the Armenian people: war, famine, epidemics, immigration of refugees, unstable internal political situation. The first devoted humanitarians started to carry out the responsible and hard work of helping children, women, diseased, refugees and others who were suffering because of this calamity.
After a while, as a consequence of the social system change, the Armenian Red Cross became a part of the Soviet Red Cross and the Red Crescent. These years became a period of great achievements.
- During this time, the Organization greatly supported the dissemination of sanitary and hygienic knowledge, ethical norms, principles of humanity, rules of first aid among the population; and was also providing medical and social assistance to single, elderly patients, and including those who suffered because of wars, natural disasters, accidents and other cataclysms.
- Immediately after the 1988 earthquake in the city of Spitak, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) mobilized its resources and sent an unprecedented amount of humanitarian aid to Armenia. The Armenian Red Cross Society, being involved in the coordination work, received a new impulse for development and expansion of its scope of activities.
- The huge damage caused by the earthquake was compounded by the problem of integrating refugees from the neighboring country, further exacerbated by the economic collapse due to the war and the blockade, followed by the collapse of the USSR social system.
- Again, the Armenian Red Cross Society stood in support of the most vulnerable. During these years, the National Society of the independent Armenia started to form and shape the directions of its activities: Social Support and Health Care, Disaster Management, Population Movement, First Aid, Tracing Service, Response to Youth Issues, Information and Dissemination of Humanitarian Values.
- In order to carry out its humanitarian mission, as a structure supporting the government in the humanitarian sphere, Armenian Red Cross Society is guided by the principle of increasing community resilience, as well as population preparedness for emergencies and social challenges. In this process, it uses the rich experience of the International Committee of the Red Cross, expands the scope of its activities and access from year to year, moving from humanitarian aid programs to development programs over the years.
The activities and services provided by the ARCS contribute to the alleviation of the needs of the beneficiaries and vulnerable communities, and the sustainable development thereof.
As a result of circumstances, on the 100th anniversary, we are facing a State of Emergency. Today, as throughout the past 100 years, we stand with the government and the people, reaffirming our commitment to fulfill our mission: reducing the vulnerability of the population by mobilizing the humanitarian potential, preparing to face the situations that may cause population vulnerability, providing the necessary assistance, supporting people who are in difficult social-economic conditions.