Icelandic Red Cross
The Icelandic Red Cross was founded on December 10th 1924. Throughout its history it has enjoyed tremendous public support and has played a pioneering role in many areas of health care, social work and education. The society has steadily grown stronger and is now the premier humanitarian agency in the country. With around 70 employees, including those working at branches, various institutions and as international delegates, the Icelandic Red Cross has an annual operating budget of approximately US$ 12 million. Just over half of the income of the Icelandic Red Cross is generated from its partnership in Icelandic Gaming. Many private businesses and thousands of individuals also support the Icelandic Red Cross on a regular basis. The work of Red Cross volunteers complements the Icelandic welfare system and is a key component of the nation's emergency response capacity.
The Icelandic Red Cross has a many different tasks domestically. The main emphasis is on bringing assistance where it is needed. New projects are chosen as a result of surveys and analysis. The Society carries out surveys regularly on a national scale to find out which groups in Icelandic society are most vulnerable with the aim of supporting them. Local branches of the Icelandic Red Cross also carry out surveys to gather information on circumstances in their local communities.
The first chairman of the Icelandic Red Cross was Sveinn Björnsson, who later became the first president of the nation. The Society has always been in the front line in matters concerning health, social services and education. Many projects started by the Red Cross are now run by the Icelandic state, local government or other authorities. Volunteers have played a very strong role in the work of the Red Cross from the start. See more