Empress Shôken Fund
The Fund received 36 applications in 2020, covering a diverse range of humanitarian projects run by National Societies in every region of the world. This year the Joint Commission agreed to allocate a total of 400,160 Swiss francs to 14 projects in Argentina, Bulgaria, Greece, Iraq, Lithuania, Montenegro, Namibia, Palestine, Panama, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uganda.
The projects to be supported in 2020 cover a number of themes, including first aid, youth engagement and disaster preparedness. Moreover, nearly all of the selected projects seek to strengthen the volunteer base of National Societies, with a view to building on the unique role played by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in communities everywhere. The Fund encourages new and innovative approaches that are geared towards learning, so that the broader Movement can benefit from project findings.
The Empress Shôken Fund is named after the Japanese Empress who, in 1912, inspired the Movement to create an international Fund in order to support the peacetime activities of National Societies.
This unique fund is jointly managed by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and International Committee of the Red Cross Joint Commission which, acting under its agreed rules of procedure, assesses grant applications from National Societies and announces its decisions on 11 April, the anniversary of the death of the Empress.