International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Leverage Twilio Flex

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The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world's largest humanitarian network with members in 192 countries. It acts before, during, and after emergencies to meet the needs of those impacted by crisis situations.

The IFRC supports displaced people with cash voucher assistance, a form of humanitarian aid that delivers financial support directly to those affected. With cash and vouchers, individuals determine their own path, buying what is needed in each individual case.


Supporting so many people and determining eligibility can be difficult, especially in conflict zones. This became especially challenging at the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, which has to date seen over eight million individuals displaced, and amidst increasing demand for efficient and responsive humanitarian services.

The IFRC needed to significantly increase the volume of requests it could handle while collecting all relevant information and streamlining delivery of aid.

Cash assistance


The decision was made to create digital helpdesks using Twilio Flex, the cloud-based digital engagements solution.

The IFRC had already successfully deployed Twilio's messaging system to dispatch updates to those seeking help via SMS. Preferred Twilio delivery partner Zing and Twilio’s social impact arm helped build the new helpdesks, beginning with those in Hungary and the Netherlands.

The Hungarian Red Cross helpdesk was created to support people displaced from Ukraine with cash and voucher assistance. Leveraging Twilio Flex's customisable front-end ticketing system and toll-free number, the helpdesk streamlines the provision of aid in three different languages and across relevant local channels including Viber, an instant messaging app widely used across Europe.

A Netherlands Red Cross helpdesk named Redline was built to provide a comprehensive suite of services to undocumented migrants living in the Netherlands. This includes providing crucial information about local hospitals and shelters.


Since its October 2022 launch, the Hungarian Red Cross’ helpdesk has dealt with thousands of cases, supporting people displaced from Ukraine with cash and voucher assistance, and delivering support directly to those affected. This approach has enabled the small volume of help desk staff to significantly increase the number of queries successfully resolved.

Launched in early 2023, Redline continues to serve as a bridge for undocumented individuals hesitant to engage with government entities, offering anonymous assistance via a WhatsApp helpdesk powered by Twilio Flex, and providing a secure platform for those in need via accessible channels.

With humanitarian needs growing faster than ever and yet the amount of aid having flatlined, we sought a technology partner who could enable us to get more value from every dollar that is donated. Twilio’s robust platform enables us to design custom solutions for varying use cases, ultimately providing support to individuals from the moment of displacement through to their resettlement.

Twilio Flex's customisable approach allows us to deliver personalised aid that caters to varying individual needs, from delivering direct cash and voucher assistance to providing crucial information anonymously across multiple communication channels.

Juriaan Lahr
Director of Digital Transformation at the IFRC

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The IFRC is set to extend its humanitarian reach with Flex in 15 additional countries and continue leveraging the power of Twilio Flex to offer personalised aid. Its innovative partnership with Twilio not only enhances its ability to support the record number of displaced people globally, but it also promotes the effective use of humanitarian funding.

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