Guidance

Support if you've been affected by a crisis abroad

Advice and information for British people affected by crises abroad, including terrorist attacks and natural disasters.

Being involved in a crisis overseas can be a difficult and sometimes traumatic experience which can have significant effects on an individual. The following list of organisations has been prepared by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for British nationals who may have been affected by a crisis overseas, returned to the UK, and who are now seeking further support and advice.

Our aim is provide British nationals with as much relevant information as possible and to support them on their return to the UK. The organisations below are not recommendations and the FCO cannot accept any responsibility or liability for the advice provided by any of these organisations. Health professionals may also provide details of other organisations that may be able to help.

General support

If you are feeling unwell, or overwhelmed and unable to cope as a result of your experience, speak to your GP or call NHS 111. Remember to tell them that you were affected by a crisis overseas.

British Red Cross works with the FCO to give psychosocial support to British citizens affected by disasters overseas. You can see more about their work with the FCO on their website

Though the charity Disaster Action is no longer operational, their website includes a free leaflet series ‘When Disaster Strikes’ which has been written for bereaved people and survivors by those who have been similarly affected by disaster.

Cruse Bereavement Care offers support when someone dies, through services available throughout the UK. You can contact them via their telephone helpline on 0844 477 9400 (open Monday and Friday 9.30-5pm and until 8pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, except bank holidays), or through helpline@cruse.org.uk. Cruse also provides specific support for young people through a dedicated telephone line and website: 0808 808 1677 www.hopeagain.org.uk

Additional support may be available to you if you have been affected by specific crises overseas:

Support for victims of terrorist attacks overseas

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) can consider applications for compensation under the Victim of Overseas Terrorism Compensation Scheme, for those bereaved or injured in terrorist incidents that have happened outside the UK. Anyone directly affected by such an incident can find out about applying for compensation on gov.uk or call the CICA helpline on 0300 003 3601. The FCO cannot influence the outcome of any application to the scheme.

The FCO may offer specific assistance for British victims of terrorist incidents overseas and their families. Exceptional Assistance Measures (EAM) was introduced in recognition of the fact that many travel insurance policies explicitly exclude acts of terrorism from their cover.

EAM allows ministers to activate special assistance in the immediate aftermath of a crisis to victims of terrorist attacks, which is above the standard consular package. This can include medical evacuation, payment of immediate medical expenses and repatriation.

The British Red Cross relief fund gives immediate financial help to people who have been seriously injured or bereaved by terrorist incidents overseas. Further information on eligibility for the fund is on their website or you can call the dedicated message service and leave their questions and details: 0800 072 5415.

You may be entitled to financial support if you are injured or unable to work as a result of being involved in a terrorist attack overseas. More information about Carers and Disability Benefits, and financial help if you become disabled, is on gov.uk. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) also provides advice about payments and benefits relating to bereavement.

Victim Support can offer emotional and practical support to anyone personally affected by a crime, including terrorist attacks overseas. You can contact them through their free 24/7 helpline on 0808 281 1136 or their website.

The Ministry of Justice also provides a leaflet for victims of crime. This is focused on victims reporting crime from UK-based offences, but it contains helpful information on the Victim’s Code, and contact details for the Citizens Advice Bureau, which you may also find useful.

Published 23 December 2016
Last updated 18 August 2017 + show all updates
  1. Added Barcelona and Cambrils attacks information
  2. First published.