The Red Cross is an international nonprofit organization that helps wounded and imprisoned soldiers in wartime, and during peacetime collects medical supplies and trains nurses. The organization was founded by Jean-Henri Dunant, a Swiss businessman, who was deeply affected by the suffering and hardship of the wounded soldiers in the Italian war for independence. In 1862, he proposed that a worldwide group of volunteers be formed to help the wounded and imprisoned in wartime. In 1863, he suggested a gathering of nations to develop such an institute. In 1864, the Swiss government held a conference with representatives of many nations who drafted the first Geneva Convention. This convention brought the Red Cross movement into existence. The organization's symbol is a red cross on a white background, the inverse of the Swiss national flag.
Owing to the religious significance of the cross, in Islamic countries the organization is known as the Red Crescent and uses the eponymous symbol. In Israel, a red Star of David is used and the organization is named Magen David Adom (Hebrew: מגן דוד אדום). In religious conflict zones involving two (or more) religions the respective symbols are often used side by side.