Associazione Nazionale Pubbliche Assistenze (ANPAS)
Associazione Nazionale Pubbliche Assistenze (ANPAS) is a network of Italian Associations that provide assistance to the general public. They began to form in 1860 when volunteers started to show solidarity for those in need. They soon developed into regional organizations to act all over Italy in the areas of rescue, disaster relief, assistance to disadvantaged people, and public health. Because of the need for coordination at the national level, the pubbliche assistenze joined together in 1904 in Spoleto, Italy, creating the Federazione Nazionale delle Società di Pubblica Assistenza e Pubblico Soccorso. In 1989 the Federazione Nazionale took on its present name and became the Associazione Nazionale Pubbliche Assistenze (ANPAS).
Today ANPAS is an independent, unified national organization, founded on democratic and constitutional principles. Its main objectives are the creation of a solidarity-oriented fair society, protection, support, promotion and coordination of organized volunteering at home and abroad, protection of civil rights and the rights of the child and the promotion of humanitarian aid. Its activities range from emergency medical care, ambulance services and social programmes to health care programmes. As one of the major state-recognized civil defence organizations ANPAS is also active in civil protection.
With 90,000 volunteers and 400,000 members ANPAS is the largest voluntary organization in Italy. The activities of ANPAS are also supported by 3,200 professional staff and 2,149 civil service volunteers. ANPAS is operating in 19 regions, representing 872 member organizations with 274 sections at local, national and international level.