Safer Access for all National Societies

Increasing acceptance, security and access to people and communities in need

National Red Cross and Red Crescent Produced in cooperation
with National Red Cross
and Red Crescent Societies


This website is a collection of resources to help National Societies learn about and apply the actions and measures recommended in the Safer Access Framework in their day-to-day work. It is a one-stop shop containing practical guidance, tools, and National Societies’ shared experiences.

The checklist “Implementing COVID-19 responses in situations of armed conflict and other sensitive and insecure contexts” aims at being a pragmatic way to highlight SAF-inspired actions/reflection prompts for National Societies under each SAF elements throughout the Covid-19 response and beyond. This checklist is organised around what is already being done in the field by National Societies themselves and the Movement more broadly and can be adapted on a pick-and-choose basis by the different National Societies in line with their context-related challenges and operational realities. The different items under each element are to be read as triggers for reflection and adaptive action and by no means represent an exhaustive list.





Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies implementing Covid-19 response in sensitive and insecure contexts: SAF Covid 19 success stories

The operationalisation of the Safer Access Framework is a context-driven process, therefore meant to adapt and being unpacked depending on both contextual and operational developments in the field. This is why the examples in this section corroborate the relevance of SAF through at least three dimensions: (i) familiarity with SAF helped National Societies (NSs) to structure their response; (ii) Covid-19 response plans contributed to enhance ongoing SAF-related engagements within/with NSs; and (iii) NSs’ role in responding to the pandemic opened possibilities to connect SAF with a longer-term NS Development discourse.

This document showcases the successful Covid-19 response from several Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies. Practical examples and tools from the several different Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies is updated in the ‘Newsfeed’ section of this website and is part of several success stories of National Societies implementing Covid-19 response with the help of Safer Access in sensitive and insecure contexts.



The red cross, red crescent and red crystal. What do they mean? In one word: protection

In a world crowded with symbols, what do the Red Cross, Red Crescent and Red Crystal mean? They are symbols of protection that international law gives to the wounded and sick, and those caring for them, in armed conflict. They tell those fighting that they must not attack anyone or anything that displays these emblems. The symbols can also show a connection to a red cross or red crescent organization, when integrated into their logos. They help people know they are humanitarian organisations, helping people in natural disasters, times of war or other emergencies. Purely based on need. The emblems are not religious symbols. They serve humanity. They are a symbol of protection and a sign that help is at hand. They are also a sign of hope, and must be respected.

This short video provides a brief overview of the meaning of the Red Cross, Red Crescent and Red Crystal. Delegations and National Societies are encouraged to use it in their awareness-raising sessions.

Safer Access Practical toolbox

The Safer Access Framework (SAF) is divided into 8 sections, each containing actions and measures that have proven useful to many National Societies in their efforts to increase their safer access in sensitive and insecure contexts. In this section, you will find practical guidance, tools/templates and reference documents provided by fellow National Societies and others, organized according to the 8 SAF elements. You are invited to share the tools you have developed that have helped you gain safer access. This toolbox is only as good as the contributions it receives!

Safer Access: A Guide and Introduction

The core guidance developed by National Societies for National Societies on how to increase their acceptance, security and access is contained in the Safer Access: A Guide for All National Societies and in the condensed Safer Access: An Introduction. They highlight the foundations underlying the essential preparedness and positioning steps required for National Societies to earn the trust and acceptance of affected communities and of those who control or influence access to them.

Safer Access in action

National Societies’ experiences of working in sensitive and insecure contexts are the foundation of the Safer Access Practical Resource Pack. This interactive map links to in-depth “case studies” describing the experiences of a number of National Societies in applying the Safer Access Framework. It also features briefer “selected experiences” in which a range of National Societies recount the specific challenges encountered in carrying out their humanitarian work and how they overcame them.  National Societies are invited to submit their own selected experience to be published alongside the ones below on the map.