The history of organized disaster relief might well have begun in Europe with the story of a Swiss man, who happened upon the aftermath of the Battle for Solferino in 1859. The organization he helped create is now known as the Red Cross. The early history, contemporary context, and typical disaster relief structure of the International Red Cross have elevated the organization to one of the premier disaster relief organizations in the world.

Early History

Upon witnessing the aftermath of the Battle of Solferino in Lombardy, Italy, Henri Dunant, a Swiss citizen, was shocked by the conditions of the wounded. In response, he marshaled local volunteers and rendered what help he could. Years later he recalled his experiences in A Memory of Solferino and called for the ...

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