The Bulgarian Red Cross (BRC) is inseparable part of the large Red Cross and Red Crescent family, called the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, united by its mission to help the people in need no matter of their sex, age, religion, political beliefs or ethnicity.
As an equal member of the International Movement, the BRC has always contributed to its unity and successful humanitarian activities in the spirit of its Fundamental Principles and solidarity. The international cooperation of the BRC supports the capacity building of the organization for a better performance towards its mission. We are bringing in our organization good practices and expertise from abroad; we participate in the RC Movements'' initiatives targeting global, European and transborder problems; we plan and implement different social and health programs and projects, financed by our sister National Societies, we mobilize international support in disaster situations in Bulgaria and we are looking for grants to help vulnerable groups in our country. We the assistance of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the BRC helps relatives separated by war, disaster, social or health reasons to reestablish their contact again, no matter in which part of the world they are. BRC is also providing support to other National Societies who need it. We have carried on humanitarian actions for the refugees in Kosovo during the crisis as well as for the people suffering of the disasters in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Romania.
In 2005 BRC has also collected funds and provided support to the victims of tzunami in Asia.
In 2006-2007 BRC experts supported the National Societies of Romania and Moldova in disaster situation, as we as the Red Crescent Society of Tajikistan in its participatory community development projects.
The cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross is of great importance, in the areas of Dissemination of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Restoring Family Links.The BRC as a member of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) invests a great effort in dissemination of the Humanitarian Principles and Values of the Movement, Disaster Preparedness and Response as well as Health and Care activities.The Bulgarian Red Cross also actively participates in the international forums of the Movement.
Such is the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, where the National Societies, ICRC, IFRC participate together with representatives of their Governments. Smaller in their scale are the forums such as the European Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, the Balkan Conference of the Red Cross National Societies in the region and others.
On 25-27 June 2008, the Bulgarian Red Cross hosted the XVI Balkan Conference in Sofia. More then 50 participants from the Balkan National Societies, ICRC, International Federation, and other Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies participated in the Conference.
BILATERAL COOPERATION WITH NATIONAL RED CROSS/RED CRESCENT SOCIETIES
At present the Bulgarian Red Cross has cooperation agreements and memorandums of understanding signed with the National Societies in Austria, United Kingdom, Germany, Israel, Spain, Italy, Macedonia, Norway, Romania, Russia, USA, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, France, Czech Republic, Switzerland and others. Traditionally BRC cooperates very well with the National Societies of Netherlands, Belgium and other European National Societies.
Based on the bilateral cooperation agreements, the Bulgarian Red Cross exchanges experience and good practices, starts specific pilot projects, elaborates and implements programs and projects, related to its core activities, seeks donations and builds its organizational capacity. This cooperation greatly contributes to strengthening the image of the BRC as a serious organization, working for the benefit of the most vulnerable in Bulgaria.
MULTILATERAL COOPERATION WITH NATIONAL RED CROSS/RED CRESCENT SOCIETIES
BRC maintains contacts and works with all National RC/RC, aiming at unifying and coordinating the efforts of building the capacity of the National Societies to adequately react in cases of disasters, crises and conflicts. Variety of forums are held in many areas such as dissemination of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL), assistance to refugees, First Aid training, Home Care, youth activities, development of income generating activities, and others.
Since 2000 BRC is also a part of a multinational agreement of the Balkan National Societies for transborder cooperation and mutual assistance in disaster situations. This initiative involves the National Societies of Albania, Former Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Macedonia, Romania and Turkey.
BRC participates in various international forums such as the Central European Partnership Forum with the National RC Societies of Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia and Romania.
BRC is also a member of a number of international networks and platforms, such as PERCO (Cooperation platform of the European Red Cross National Societies, working with refugees, asylum seekers and migrants), ECRE (International network of NGOs, working with refugees and exiles), ILSE (International Life Saving Federation of Europe), IKAR (International network for exchange of mountain rescue know-how), ERNA (International RC/RC network on HIV, AIDS and TB), FAEEN (European Reference Center for First Aid ), European RC Network on trafficking of human beings, international network of RC/RC Tracing Services and others.
COOPERATION WITH THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS OF THE MOVEMENT
The Bulgarian Red Cross cooperates very actively with the most important components of the Movement, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies (IFRC) and the European Office of the National Red Cross Societies in the EU countries.
They are supporting the Bulgarian Red Cross in conducting various training programmes, aiming at building the capacity of the organization and joint activities in the areas of dissemination of the International Humanitarian Law, Restoring Family Links, Disaster Preparedness and Disaster Response, health activities, working with volunteers, implementing participatory projects with vulnerable marginalized communities, participating in international activities such as the International Road Safety Initiative and others.
The Bulgarian Red Cross has a Memorandum of Understanding with the IFRC for participation of its personnel in the Regional Disaster Response Team and its deployment in international actions in cases of disaster in other countries. The Bulgarian Red Cross representatives have participated already in a number of international missions in support of other RC National Societies.