Blood donation

The IFRC supports our 191 Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to deliver and promote safe and sustainable blood programmes around the world. Together, we supported more than 22 million people to donate blood in 2022.

About blood donation

One blood donation can save as many as three lives. Sustainable and quality blood services play a critical role in the health of a society and in preparing for, and responding to, disasters.

Blood can be used for lots of different life-saving purposes, including:

  • assisting patients undergoing surgery
  • treating diseases such as anaemia and malaria
  • caring for patients on chemotherapy
  • supporting women with complications during childbirth

While the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes that it is the responsibility of governments to ensure a safe and adequate supply of blood, Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in many countries play an important role in promoting safe and sustainable blood programmes.

National Society activities

Staff at the Blood Department Unit of the Indonesian Red Cross Hospital in Bogor showed and explained the importance of sufficient blood stocks as the COVID-19 cases in Indonesia continues to rise in 2020

Full blood service provision

Around one quarter of National Societies are responsible for blood service delivery in their national blood programmes.

IFRC Goodwill Ambassador Jet Li shakes hands with a young blood donor at the Vietnam Red Cross Societies annual spring festival which aims to recruit new blood donors to meet the country’s blood shortage during the lunar New Year

Systematic blood donor recruitment

Our volunteers help their communities understand the need and importance of donating blood, mobilizing them to become blood donors.

The Red Cross Society of Seychelles mark World Blood Donor Day in 2021 by thanking longstanding and young donors. Staff and volunteers also donated blood on the day


Blood is our common life-source. Donated blood should be available to all patients who need it, regardless of who they are, where they are or their ability to pay.