Afghan Red Crescent Society
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|Affiliations||International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies|
|Website||ARCS Official Site|
The Afghan Red Cross Society (ARCS) is the Afghan affiliate of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The Society has existed for over 70 years although with limited structure due to the prevailing conditions which have affected the country at large for over 20 years.
The ARCS was founded in April 1934. It traces its origins to the Naderia Orphanage, with the purpose of helping orphans and those in need. In October 1951, the society adopted its constitution, which articulated democratic provisions for membership, elections at central, provincial and local branches, and managing board. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is one of the two main partners of the ARCS, establishing its delegation in Afghanistan in 1991, with only temporary evacuations during the most recent conflict. Although limited in terms of organizational capacity in recent years, the organization and activities of the ARCS covers territory throughout the country, with active branches in 31 of 32 provinces.
Organization and activities
The ARCS receives a significant portion of its support from the National Societies of several developed nations, including those from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and Japan, with support channeled through the International Federation. The ARCS also maintains bilateral relations with the National Societies of Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The ARCS has been led by Ms. Fatima Gailani since 2004.
Based on its wide-ranging humanitarian work throughout Afghanistan, the ARCS claims the ability to work with all ethnic groups through its services. The primary activities of the organization have been focused primarily on disaster response, health care, and youth. Although exact figures are currently unavailable, a 2003 release from the International Federation placed members/volunteers at approximately 10,000 with 1,200 staff. Ms. Fatima Gailani claims, in a 2007 interview with the International Review of the Red Cross that the ARCS has nearly 37,000 volunteers.
- History of Afghan Red Cross Society. Afghan Red Cross Society.
- Organizational Overview - ARCS (PDF) (PDF). International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.