In full International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, formerly (until 1986) International Red Cross, humanitarian agency with national affiliates in almost every country in the world. The Red Cross movement began with the founding of the International Committee for the Relief of the Wounded (now the International Committee of the Red Cross) in 1863; it was established to care for victims of battle in time of war, but later national Red Cross societies were created to aid in the preventionand relief of human suffering generally. Its peacetime activities include first aid, accident prevention, water safety, training of nurses' aids and mothers' assistants, and maintenance of maternal and child welfare centres and medical clinics, blood banks, and numerous other services. The Red Cross is the name used incountries under nominally Christian sponsorship; Red Crescent (adopted on the insistence of the Ottoman Empire in 1906) is the name used in Muslim countries.
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