The Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRCS) was established in 1922 under the name of “Red Lion and Sun Society of Iran” and was recognised by the International Committee of the Red Cross and later was admitted at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (initially known as the League of Red Cross Societies). Since its formation, the National Society began its activities independently under its constitution and the supervision of a Board of Directors, setting up branches in different cities. The people, often through endowments and donations met the bulk of its financial demands. Since the outset, the National Society has participated in many public activities such as establishing maternity hospitals, setting up clinics with free of charge medical services, supplying water, constructing gravelled roads and helping the army health centres. Up to 1979, the National Society had been able to establish hospitals and medical centres, nursing schools, road relief bases and drugstores, air and marine rescue posts and blood donation banks. Furthermore, the National Society was equipped with 5 airplanes, a hospital ship, and 5 relief helicopters. In 1980, the National Society changed its name and emblem to Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran and expanded its provincial and local branches and various facilities and activities. IRCS is currently the country's main humanitarian organisation and one of 190 members of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.