Who we are

The Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB) is a non-profit, non-governmental, non-political and non-denominational organization. With 37,000 employees, 11,000 volunteers, more than 220 offices and 1.2 million members, ASB is one of Germany's leading civil protection and charitable organizations. It is part of the German National Civil Protection and Risk Management System, together with the Red Cross and four other organizations.

Historically ASB originates from initiatives of workers and craftsmen to train in the field of emergency rescue and first aid training. At the time, there was a lack of paramedics who could act quickly and competently in an emergency. Workplace safety and accident prevention standards, as they exist today, were still unknown.

In 1888, six Berlin carpenters forged the basis for today's ASB with the "First Aid Accident Course" that they organized. From then on, workers were able to take care of the injured in workshops and factories themselves.

ASB helps all people, regardless of their political, ethnic, national and religious affiliation. With this help, people are enabled to develop and maintain as much independence as possible. In this way, we quickly help all those who need our support.

In the field of international cooperation, ASB is operating in five continents, specifically in 28 countries, focusing primarily on the sectors of health, water, sanitation and hygiene, food security and emergency humanitarian aid. In addition to the inclusion of people with disabilities and older adults in disaster preparedness and prevention.

In Latin America, ASB began operations in 1998, providing humanitarian assistance in response to Hurricane Mitch. Since then, ASB has implemented a number of emergency, recovery and rehabilitation, development and inclusive disaster risk management projects, as well as programs to combat the structural causes of migration.

ASB is currently implementing regional humanitarian aid programs in Central America in response to the effects of climate change, which has affected thousands of vulnerable rural families. ASB also implements programs for the inclusion of people with disabilities and older adults at regional, national and local levels in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

ASB implements projects with emphasis on: Awareness raising/ Sensitization through public relations, application of good practices at low cost, through model, replicable and pilot projects, evidence-based lobbying to influence change in strategies, programs, plans and policies at local, national and regional levels.

The implementation of the projects in each location is done through local partner organizations or in some cases with ASB teams. Communities, municipalities and ministries of health, environment and agriculture are actively involved at various levels.

Our projects and programs work through open and existing local and non-governmental structures, whose capacities are strengthened. At the same time, our projects have a strong participatory character and a local reference, which after the funding period promotes the exit, accountability and sustainability of the project.

What we do

  • Rescue Services
  • First Aid
  • Emergency medical assistance
  • Social assistance for people with disabilities, senior adults and children
  • Refugee care

In recent years, ASB assistance in Germany has expanded to the attention of refugees who have fled countries at war in search of refuge and security in Germany. ASB currently serves an average of 50,000 refugees daily in more than 200 temporary shelters throughout Germany.

Our FAST team

The FAST (First Assistance Samariter Team) is a rapid emergency response team comprised of health professionals, physicians and other water and sanitation specialists. Upon the occurrence of an older adult disaster, the FAST team is deployed immediately to provide primary health care and ensure access to safe drinking water. In order to provide this service, ASB has 120 emergency-trained health professionals and the necessary equipment and supplies, such as tents, stretchers, medical supplies, water purification equipment, etc.


Operational independence

Humanitarian action must be autonomous from the political, economic, military or other objectives that any actor may hold with regard to areas where humanitarian action is being implemented.


Humanitarian action must be carried out on the basis of need alone, giving priority to the most urgent cases of distress and making no distinctions on the basis of nationality, race, gender, religious belief, class or political opinions.


Humanitarian actors must not take sides in hostilities or engage in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.


Human suffering must be addressed wherever it is found. The purpose of humanitarian action is to protect life and health and ensure respect for human beings.