In 1863 Swiss entrepreneur Jean Henry Dunant mobilised statesmen, doctors and philanthropists to form the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Dunant was visiting the French emperor Napoleon III when he chanced on the horrors of the battle of Solferino in Italy. In a single day, about 40,000 soldiers on both sides—the French and the Austrian—died or were left battling for their lives. Dunant abandoned the original intent of his trip and for several days devoted himself to helping with the treatment and care of the wounded. A century-and-a-half later more than 97 million volunteers in more than 180 countries give shape to the Swiss philanthropist’s vision. A pictorial history
150 years of humanitarian action: peace in war
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