Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS)
The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), officially founded in December 1968, is a national humanitarian organization. Since its establishment, it caters to the health and welfare of the Palestinian people and others in need in the OPT and the Diaspora. It has 4,200 employees in oPt (West Bank and Gaza Strip), Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Iraq in addition to its volunteer network of more than 20,000 people.
PRCS strives to ease human suffering through its Emergency Medical Services (EMS), preventive and curative health care services, rehabilitation, volunteer activities, and programs promoting social and cultural development, with a focus on the most vulnerable members of the society. PRCS also focuses on the dissemination of the humanitarian values, the fundamental principles of the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, in addition to International Humanitarian Law.
The Palestine Red Crescent Society was mandated in 1969 to provide humanitarian, health, cultural and social services when and where needed to the Palestinian population. Following the 1993 Oslo peace accord and the formal establishment of a Ministry of Health (MOH) by the Palestinian Authority (PA), PRCS, in 1996 and 1999, was mandated by the Palestinian Authority to provide National Ambulance and Blood Transfusion and Pre-Hospital Emergency Services in oPt and Health Service in the Diaspora. The PRCS assumed the role of a complementary body to the public authorities, targeting the needs of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups within the Palestinian population. The PRCS has become one of the main non-profit providers of medical and social welfare services in the oPt. Despite the many obstacles and difficulties, the PRCS persists in providing humanitarian services and support to its people, through its branches in Palestine, as well as in Arab countries where Palestinians reside in large numbers.
The PRCS is a full member of the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, and therefore adheres to the Movement’s basic principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality.
The deteriorating humanitarian situation in oPt and Diaspora, coupled with the continued financial crisis, internal strife and recurrent Israeli military incursions into the oPt, put more strain on the National Society’s ability to provide essential services to the population as a result of increased numbers of people requiring emergency care in hospitals and health centre’s.
The Palestine Red Crescent is one of the largest and most reliable provider of health care and social services in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It is also the only provider of secondary health care services to the Palestinian refugees in the Diaspora ( Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Iraq) . Due to the financial crisis in oPt and serious lack of job opportunities for Palestinians in Lebanon, there are very few options for the Palestine Red Crescent to generate income from its programs and services. This leaves it vulnerable and dependent on external funding. With years of deteriorating economic and humanitarian conditions, and with periods where the authorities could not provide health care and social services, the importance of the Palestine Red Crescent has increased.