Our origin dates back to 1981 when a resolution was adopted at the 24th International Red Cross & Red Crescent Conference recommending that “a special fund be formed for the benefit of the disabled and to promote the implementation of durable projects to aid disabled persons”.

Consequently, in 1983, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) created the ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD). Its mission was to ensure the continuity of former ICRC physical rehabilitation programs.


The ICRC Assembly converted the SFD into an independent foundation under Swiss law. The SFD started to fund its activities independently through a yearly appeal, and expanded its activities to non-former ICRC programs. Since then, representatives of donors, experts on disability issues, and the Movement of Red Cross/Crescent Society joined our Board. They helped us shape our future and achieve a strategic shift from humanitarian assistance to development.

In the past years, the SFD activities and organizational structure were evaluated by several external auditing bodies. They analyzed the effectiveness of the SFD’s programs and ability to meet the needs of its beneficiaries. Based on their study, they delivered recommendations for further improving programs implementation and impacts.


As a first result to applying these recommendations, the SFD was awarded the NGO benchmarking certification , demonstrating SFD’s compliance with internationally accepted NGO management best practices. As a second result, it adopted a 3 years budgeting cycle to reflect better the long-term commitment on the field. They also based the strategy on 5 general objectives. Therefore, to guide the work and measure the progress in the long-term, a set of indicators was implemented.


Strong of the above, and knowing that the number of persons with disabilities is growing, the governance and the donors advised the SFD to develop a 5 years’ strategy and business plan to expand their activities and impact in less-resourced countries. To better reflect their identity and work, the ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled was rebranded and changed name to the ICRC MoveAbility Foundation.