About us

The French Red Cross, founded in 1864, is an independent charity working alongside governments and public authorities. As a key player in society, we provide humanitarian, health, social, welfare and training services. To help carry out our assignments we have a strong team of 18,000 employees and 56,000 volunteers, who on a daily basis, pursue consistent and unwavering charitable principles to provide local support and deliver tangible results and long-term solutions.

Organisation and governance

The general meeting, board of directors, chairman and the National Office constitute the governing bodies of the French Red Cross, together with the national supervisory commission of advisors providing advice and supervision.

  • The General Meeting is made up of French Red Cross Directors, regional delegates and directors of regional offices, as well as one delegate per département (French county). The Annual General Meeting (AGM) debates on topics drawn up by the Board of Directors and approves the annual report and financial statements. 
  • The Board of Directors: the French Red Cross is managed by a board of directors who report to the general meeting. The board of directors is made up of 31 members which meet 4 times a year and who are assisted by a national office and two vice-chairmen.
  • The Chairman is in charge of French Red Cross policies, as agreed by the board of directors and the national office. Elected for a four year term by the board of directors, the chairman represents the organization at both national government and international levels. As patron and safeguarder of the impartiality and independence of the organization, he is assisted by a first and second vice-chairman.
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Professor Jean-Jacques Eledjam has chaired the French Red Cross since June 22nd 2013. Aged 69, he is a university Professor and medical practitioner, specialising in anaesthesiology and resuscitation. He has held positions at the CHU in Nimes (University Hospital Centre) and the CHRU in Montpellier (Regional University Hospital Centre). Until 2012, he was the Accident and Emergency Services director at the CHRU in Montpellier. With broad experience in the field, he has been a Red Cross volunteer since 2004.
  • The National Office is overseen by the board of directors and considers all issues outside the remit of executive management not important enough to be put to the main board. It may receive specific written authorizations from the Board. The national office meets once a month. 

Territorial organisation

With 54,000 volunteers and 18,000 employees working with 1,034 local branches and 600 different facilities, our organisation operates throughout France. In every region, branches have been set up based on location so as to provide the best possible regional network to reach and help vulnerable people. 

  • Head Office and the 8 Regional Offices: under the Chairman’s and senior management’s authority, the head office prepares and implements all decisions taken by national governing bodies. It is also responsible for day-to-day management of the organization, providing support and advice to offices, units and facilities. The eight regional offices oversee the territories of one or several French administrative Regions: the North-West, the West, the South-West, Ile-de-France Region, the East, Rhône-Alpes-Auvergne, the South-East and the Overseas Territories. Each office is responsible for coordinating activities as well as the support and supervision of all inter-regional facilities.
  • County Offices: every French department has an office responsible for running, coordinating and controlling activities performed by local units. Acting as an intermediary between local units and Head Office, the department office is responsible for the smooth-running and budgeting of local units in difficulty.
  • Local units: each French department has a set number of units. Within its operational territory, it is in charge of Red Cross community projects concerned with meeting local needs, especially with regard to social activities, emergencies and first aid. 
  • The Facilities: our 600 facilities are spread out across France and divided into seven professional categories: children and families, social exclusion, healthcare, housing, training programs, the elderly and the disabled.

Funding

The French Red Cross’ operations are largely funded by private donations from individuals, corporate sponsorship, and the sale of French Red Cross goods and services.

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We belong to the Comité de la Charte de Déontologie, an ethics committee for social and humanitarian charities which raise funds from the general public. The French Red Cross financial statements are audited by two accounting firms and are publicly available.