IFRC, Republic of Korea National Red Cross and Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs sign a landmark agreement to strengthen humanitarian efforts

Volunteers from the Republic of Korea National Red Cross climb over a collapsed bridge to deliver humanitarian supplies. Photo: IFRC

Volunteers from the Republic of Korea National Red Cross climb over a collapsed bridge to deliver humanitarian supplies. Photo: IFRC

Geneva/Beijing/Seoul, 18 September 2023 - The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the Republic of Korea National Red Cross (KNRC), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea (MOFA), have officially signed a partnership agreement. This agreement focuses on providing help and support to countries affected by climate-related disasters and humanitarian emergencies. 

Started in 2012, the IFRC, KNRC, and ROK MOFA have maintained a strong partnership focused on building skills of national societies to prepare and respond to disasters. This foundational agreement serves as a cornerstone for the newly expanded cooperation. 

Key areas of work outlined in the agreement include helping local communities better handle disasters and emergencies. This includes early warning systems, anticipatory actions and expanded disaster response activities. Support for IFRC’s emergency appeals and for international collaboration are also part of this agreement. 

This partnership addresses a wide range of global challenges, such as climate change, health emergencies and food insecurity. It outlines a comprehensive plan for work in areas like adapting to climate change, responding to crises and disasters, improving health and well-being, securing food and livelihoods, sharing knowledge and humanitarian work. 

Xavier Castellanos, the IFRC Under Secretary General said: 

"The Republic of Korea is the first country to transition from an aid recipient to a donor country, and its rapid recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic has captured the world's attention. Through this agreement with the MOFA, we look forward to implementing the factors and strategies that led to this achievement in countries affected by disasters.” 

Park Jin, Minister of MOFA said: 

"Our government and the Korean Red Cross have been actively working together to support temporary settlements for displaced people in Turkey. We look forward to working with the IFRC, which has a global humanitarian aid network and capabilities, to provide more efficient and country-specific support." 

As Chul-Soo Kim, President of the Korean Red Cross said: 

"In the context of evolving disasters and conflicts caused by climate change, we expect that the revision of the MOU will expand the cooperation and coordination with the MOFA and the IFRC. The Korean Red Cross will strive to fulfil its humanitarian responsibilities in conflict and disaster situations around the world." 

As the global community faces increasing humanitarian needs, this collaboration aims to make a substantial impact. The IFRC, the KNRC, and the ROK MOFA anticipate that their combined efforts will result in more effective responses, increased resilience to disasters and better support for vulnerable communities worldwide. 

The signing of this partnership was one of the key highlights of the IFRC Under Secretary General, Xavier Castellanos' recent visit to the Republic of Korea. In addition, he also took part in the World Knowledge Forum and held extensive dialogues with the KNRC, governmental representatives and other important collaborators.

More information

For photos from the signing ceremony: link 

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: [email protected]  

In Beijing: Kexuan TONG, +86 13147812269  
In Kuala Lumpur: Afrhill Rances, +60 192713641  
In Geneva: Mrinalini Santhanam, +41 763815006 

Related press releases