The League of Red Cross Societies was founded in 1919, the year after the end of World War I. The initiative came from Henry P. Davison, President of the American Red Cross. Experience from the war showed that the national Red Cross Societies ought to cooperate more closely also in peacetime. The Red Cross Societies of the USA, Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan were the first members of the League, known today as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
The League's first task was to undertake aid work in countries where the populations had suffered most severely during the war. Since then, the organization has carried out extensive aid work in peacetime when flooding, droughts and other natural disasters have led to hunger, need and death.
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