The Ethiopian Red Cross Society was established by government decree on 8 July 1935 and became 48th member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on September 25 of the same year. The NS is an independent organization established and recognized by law through a National Charter adopted in 31 October 1947. The Charter has undergone various parliamentary revisions, the last being that of 1999.
ERCS has a structure consisting of
District (woreda) branches
Committees (Kebele Red Cross)
The NS is governed by elected board members at national and branch levels. The boards set the general direction of the National Society. A national assembly is convened every two years and elections of governing board members are held every four years. The ERCS began its humanitarian operations to the wounded soldiers sick combatants and civilian victims of the Italian war of aggression in 1935.
Since its establishment it has been rendering various services to communities vulnerable to and affected by natural and manmade disasters through provision of ambulance service, community based first aid service, emergency responses, restoring family links, essential drug program, water and sanitation, HIV/AIDS and related services.
It also runs disaster risk reduction programs like food security, climate change adaptation, livelihood diversification and institutional capacity building interventions with the aim of creating resilience households and communities. Across all its structure, the NS has a total employee of 1,114 out of which 271 are based at the HQ and 843 at branch offices. Women account for 27% of the overall staff.