Introduction by Jennifer Anderson, Director for Consular Providers
The supply of consular providers to British nationals overseas, together with in periods of disaster, is an important public service and one of many Overseas, Commonwealth and Growth Workplace’s high priorities.
For the reason that early 2000s, the FCDO has professionalised and improved the supply of its consular providers. The imaginative and prescient for that has been specified by a collection of methods. International requirements and insurance policies have been set, delivered by a cadre of skilled consular and disaster response employees; suggestions and efficiency metrics have been developed; our disaster administration capabilities have been expanded and repeatedly examined, and we now have launched new fashions of supply, together with a worldwide Consular Contact Centre and Emergency Journey Doc Centre.
This sixth, up to date, technique follows a interval of unprecedented change and problem. The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has affected all areas of supply. Now we have been by a collection of main disaster operations together with the 2020 world COVID-19 repatriation programme, the biggest peacetime army evacuation since World Conflict 2 from Afghanistan, and latterly the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The UK’s withdrawal from the European Union has modified how British folks journey and dwell in Europe. The variety of requests for data and help from the British public has various considerably, alongside the character of the help required.
This era of change, disruption and disaster has examined our provision of consular providers, which we ship 24 hours a day, 7 days every week, one year a yr. Workers around the globe have demonstrated nice private dedication, guaranteeing continuity of consular providers even underneath stringent native lockdowns. Resilient and agile resourcing which might quickly be scaled as much as help unprecedented spikes in calls for is now an integral a part of our consular mannequin. Given the excessive public profile of our consular work, it’s proper that we face rigorous scrutiny.
Since 2020 there have been 2 Overseas Affairs Committee inquiries alongside different inner and exterior critiques into the supply of key components of our consular providers akin to deaths overseas and sophisticated abroad detentions. The merger of the previous Overseas & Commonwealth Workplace and Division for Worldwide Growth has created alternatives for even nearer collaboration on disaster administration whereas reinforcing the significance of organisation-wide coaching and disaster consciousness.
Whereas updating our technique, we now have additionally refreshed and up to date our Help for British Nationals Overseas pages on GOV.UK to be clear on the sorts of help that we are able to present, in addition to the bounds to that assist. Our revised Consular Constitution units out what British folks can count on from us and what we ask from them in return.
This technique assumes a speedy return to pre-pandemic ranges of journey alongside a continued excessive degree of demand for the complete vary of consular providers together with in intervals of disaster. It’s focussed on sustaining and enhancing our digital and in particular person 24/7 providers, tailor-made consular help targeted on the weak, the prevention of incidents requiring consular help and continued strengthening of our disaster planning and response.
Delivering this technique is within the fingers of our folks: our most useful asset. Resolving consular instances requires experience from a variety of employees. Our Consular Contact Centre, world service centres, native consular groups in nation and specialist coverage groups on the FCDO have to collaborate to get one of the best final result. Our community of practically 900 employees throughout the UK, in our world centres and in additional than 200 embassies, high commissions and consulates around the world brings range, native data and experience.
Whereas this technique emphasises our dedication to 24/7 accessibility and growing our on-line providers, we need to stability this with retaining a close to world presence of consular employees in order that we are able to supply in particular person help to those that want it and retain the agility and resilience we have to reply when disaster hits. We recognise how demanding consular work is on our groups – we’ll proceed to offer a devoted Wellbeing Help Programme to our officers, who cope with a number of the most distressing conditions that employees within the FCDO should face.
Jennifer Anderson, Director for Consular Providers
Overview of the help FCDO Consular Providers gives yearly
In any given yr, we help round 20,000 to 25,000 British nationals and their households, together with roughly:
- 6,800 detained or arrested overseas
- 4,500 who die overseas
- 4,000 who’re hospitalised
- 1,600 who’re victims of crime
- 5,000 who want welfare help
We will likely be accessible to British individuals who want our assist at any time of day or night time.
In at this time’s more and more digital world, we recognise how vital it’s for British folks to have the ability to entry our consular providers 24/7. Our world consular community is ready up in order that regardless of the place somebody at present is, or what time it’s, we’ll all the time be accessible to offer preliminary consular help once they contact us.
When our earlier technique was printed in 2016, particular person consular sections in British missions overseas had been the first technique of offering consular providers. We dedicated to be accessible to obtain calls 24 hours a day, anticipating our Consular Contact Centre transferring to 24/7 operations in 2017 and with the ability to deal with all consular enquiries to our overseas embassies, high commissions and consulates and to Consular Directorate within the UK. This included offering an emergency escalation path to the FCDO’s International Response Centre for individuals who had been weak and wanted help when nation workplaces had been closed.
Skilled first response at any time of day or night time
In 2022, our world Consular Contact Centre, made up totally of consular employees, is properly established as the primary level of contact for British nationals overseas who attain out to the FCDO for help. The service gives 24/7 first-response consular recommendation and help, at any time when somebody contacts us by telephone, net kind or social media.
We offer the identical degree of first response day and night time and regardless of the channel that has been used to succeed in us. Many of the enquiries we obtain at the moment are resolved by employees on the Consular Contact Centre. Our employees can information folks to, or clarify, our intensive publicly accessible data, which we replace repeatedly. We’re additionally introducing the automated switch of requires non-consular callers on visa and passport enquiries to the proper UK authorities division. This frees up our consular employees in our embassies, excessive commissions and consulates from dealing with normal enquiries and permits them to concentrate on serving to those that are weak and who most want our assist.
We’re additionally repeatedly reviewing our processes to offer a greater 24/7 service for individuals who require additional consular help, for instance altering how the Consular Contact Centre can escalate instances extra effectively to consular groups within the UK and abroad throughout working hours, and to our skilled consular case officers within the International Response Centre out of hours.
Not having your passport whereas overseas will be distressing
Our largest transaction service is the supply of Emergency Journey Paperwork. We often obtain round 36,000 purposes a yr for Emergency Journey Paperwork from British people who find themselves overseas and have to journey urgently however whose passports have been misplaced or stolen or in any other case not accessible.
To make sure a extra constant and dependable service we now have arrange a worldwide service centre to course of on-line purposes for Emergency Journey Paperwork (ETDs) from British folks in each nation on the earth. The worldwide service centre is open even when consulates are closed. This implies British folks can apply for an ETD on-line as quickly as they know they want one, and at their comfort, moderately than needing to journey to one in all our workplaces to make an software.
Wherever attainable we need to supply a courier service so that folks don’t have to journey to gather their ETD however can have it delivered on to them. Our intention is to offer extra courier choices, together with a sooner premium service, for individuals who want to ensure supply earlier than their date of journey and without having to come back in particular person to our workplaces.
A extra resilient Consular Contact Centre
The Consular Contact Centre often handles greater than half 1,000,000 enquiries annually. Within the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic the quantity of calls surged to unprecedented ranges, exposing the constraints of our telephony infrastructure and the significance of larger resilience and capability to scale up our staffing.
From January to September 2020, the variety of calls dealt with every month by the Consular Contact Centre surged, peaking at practically 60,000 in March 2020. The standard month-to-month common is round 25,000 to 30,000.
Since then, we now have expanded our telephony and make contact with capabilities by upgrading to a contemporary cloud contact system; skilled a surge workforce of employees volunteers all through the FCDO to deal with advanced consular calls throughout crises; and contracted an outsourced supplier to supply a extra resilient triage of enquiries within the occasion of sudden spikes in demand.
On account of these enhancements, we at the moment are capable of reply enquiries and escalate instances absolutely remotely when essential, together with at scale and in intervals of disaster when massive numbers of British folks want our assist without delay.
Notarial and doc providers
We all know that it’s significantly vital for British folks dwelling and doing enterprise overseas to have fast and easy accessibility to notarial and doc providers to show their eligibility to satisfy native necessities, for instance to get married in Thailand, or import a automobile in Portugal. These providers can now be utilized for on-line with much less time spent bodily on the consulate. We’ll prolong this to additional international locations through the technique cycle.
Throughout this technique cycle
be sure that devoted consular employees can be found 24/7 to offer distant first response for any consular challenge wherever on the earth, together with for individuals who discover accessing digital providers difficult
refine our processes in order that no matter how somebody contacts us initially – by telephone, in particular person, on-line or by social media – we’ll escalate instances requiring pressing help as quickly as they’re picked up and guarantee consular groups are capable of reply constantly
introduce a brand new IT system to handle instances, together with for crises, built-in with our Consular Contact Centre, in order that British folks will be assured consular employees could have a extra full view of their contact historical past from first contact by to the decision of their case. This implies folks won’t have to repeat their particulars and their data will be up to date by anybody concerned of their case
allow British folks to entry extra of our providers on-line, at a time that fits them and without having to journey to one in all our workplaces. Our long-standing strategic goal is to proceed to embrace new expertise to offer fashionable consular providers for British folks. We’ll use GOV.UK to recommend providers related to the circumstances and placement of the particular person needing help. These may very well be for British folks resident overseas to show their eligibility for native providers, or for British travellers who’ve had their journey disrupted, for instance by accidents or crime
make it simpler for British folks to entry providers from native professionals overseas, akin to legal professionals, translators, medical professionals or funeral administrators. Whereas we’re unable to suggest particular professionals, we’ll present ideas based mostly on the placement of the British particular person, and the the explanation why they want that skilled service
present accessible, related and well timed on-line steerage to help British folks in accessing native providers in instances of want, together with bereavement, hospitalisation, or as a sufferer of crime, with an possibility to talk to a member of consular employees at any stage
We’ll present tailor-made and empathetic help to British folks overseas.
Our community of consular employees across the globe has all the time supported 1000’s of British folks in problem overseas. In recent times we now have improved and elevated the knowledge and providers we offer on-line in order that extra folks may also help themselves. However yearly, consular officers present private, case-specific help to British nationals and their households in round 20,000 to 25,000 new instances and an additional 8,000 to 10,000 ongoing instances. This help consists of supporting the bereaved households of British individuals who have died or been murdered overseas, in addition to these reporting parental little one abduction or a lacking particular person. We additionally assist British individuals who have been arrested or detained, those that are in hospital, these who’ve been raped or sexually assaulted or are the victims of one other crime, and people who are going through compelled marriage.
Day by day our employees help British folks going through a number of the most distressing occasions possible, working throughout the parameters of what’s attainable and permitted domestically, and inside our coverage as set out in Help for British Nationals Overseas.
Throughout the pandemic, our providers got here underneath intense stress as growing numbers of British folks turned to consular groups as their circumstances modified, native providers around the globe had been stretched or unavailable, and journey restrictions and entry necessities had been put in place and quickly modified. We needed to adapt how we delivered consular help, transferring to offering extra help remotely as international locations locked down.
The pandemic examined the agility and resilience of our community, however we continued offering consular help all through. We’ll construct on classes realized as we search to repeatedly enhance the consular help we offer globally.
Doing extra for individuals who most want our assist and collaborating on advanced instances
The main focus of our sources and our help stays those that most want our assist. When British nationals flip to us for assist, we’ll present help that’s constant globally, delivered by skilled employees. This can be from our workplaces, by our employees travelling to the person’s location or by employees aiding by telephone.
The place we are able to, we’ll direct folks to different present help, together with on-line data offered by the FCDO, or the place help will be higher offered by one other organisation akin to a number authorities, a journey firm or insurance coverage firm.
Some instances will develop into significantly advanced and should contain authorized or political challenges. Now we have learnt that an early, built-in, response is invaluable. We prepare our employees to systematically and repeatedly assess advanced instances; to escalate them to extra senior employees at once in order that we are able to take into account what’s the most applicable sort of help for that state of affairs and the vary of diplomatic instruments accessible. We recognise the worth of getting a worldwide community the place a lot of our employees are recruited for his or her native experience and thru their data of native programs and processes can determine points early, together with considerations about human rights and due course of.
Among the longest working instances are the place British nationals are in detention overseas. We concentrate on their welfare and supply help with out judgement. In some instances, employees could present consular help for a few years. The place detainees or their legal professionals increase considerations, for instance to report torture or mistreatment, we take their allegations severely. We’ll take into account whether or not to lift considerations with the native authorities if the detainee needs us to take action, considering if this is able to be probably dangerous to them or different British nationals, and whether it is of their greatest pursuits. We will even work intently with heads of mission and FCDO political employees, drawing on the insights of our wider diplomatic community as wanted.
Entry to British prisoners abroad
In lots of international locations through the COVID-19 pandemic we had been unable to make jail visits as a consequence of native lockdown restrictions. Our employees throughout the globe labored with host authorities to seek out new methods to ship help and keep contact with roughly 1,900 British nationals in detention. As public well being measures are lowered across the globe, we’re working with host authorities to make sure consular officers can as soon as once more have in-person entry to British prisoners overseas.
We recognise that in a few of our most distressing instances British folks want extra specialist help than the FCDO can present. We work globally with 23 funded UK-based companions (and 1 non-funded accomplice) who can present professional assist to British nationals, complementing the help that consular officers can present. This experience consists of, for instance, help for detainees, veterans, survivors of rape or sexual assault, these whose member of the family has been murdered or is lacking, or these going through parental little one abduction. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we additional expanded our partnerships. Consular groups at our embassies, high commissions and consulates around the globe have constructed partnerships who can present help domestically. Within the coming technique interval we’ll perform a wants evaluation to determine potential new partnerships to additional develop the help accessible to British folks overseas.
Salvation Military Partnership
The Salvation Military’s shelter areas have supported weak British nationals returning to the UK by offering longer-term help to people who in any other case would have been homeless or destitute. This help goes past that offered by our companions in Heathrow and Gatwick Journey Care, and the airport chaplaincies at Glasgow, Manchester, Edinburgh and Stansted.
Throughout this technique cycle
proceed to do extra for people who find themselves weak, focusing our help on those that most want and may profit from our assist. We’ll do extra for these whose instances are essentially the most critical and require the involvement or intervention of the British authorities. The place persons are not weak, we’ll present data and recommendation in order that they’re able to assist themselves
be skilled and empathetic, with the help we are able to present set out clearly on GOV.UK underneath Help for British Nationals Overseas. We’re dedicated to making sure all our employees are assured in explaining to British folks how the FCDO can help them, and that we tailor our help to a person’s wants whereas displaying empathy for a person’s state of affairs
drive an built-in method to advanced casework, drawing on experience, expertise and affect throughout our world community. Groups throughout the FCDO and different components of HM Authorities, within the UK and overseas, will collaborate on advanced or delicate instances, permitting us to attract on a variety of expertise, experience and affect to offer the best help for British nationals
develop our employees and improve experience. We all know how vital it’s to these we assist that our employees have interaction professionally and with empathy and that communications are clear and constant. We’ll proceed to offer each complete preliminary coaching to new employees, and alternatives for the continual skilled growth of our many longstanding and skilled employees. We’ll work with the FCDO’s Worldwide Academy on bespoke consular studying and with professional exterior suppliers on particular case varieties together with rape and sexual assault and psychological well being. We’ll repeatedly refresh our studying supply as a part of reviewing and updating our insurance policies and processes
proceed to develop partnerships domestically and globally with organisations who can supply experience and help to British folks past our personal. We’ll determine gaps in help for British folks, and work to determine new partnerships with UK based mostly or native organisations who’re greatest positioned to supply the required experience and help. We’ll work intently with them in order that the help provided is coordinated
We’ll assist British folks to remain safer when overseas.
Most British folks dwell or journey overseas with out incident and without having to hunt consular help. However when an incident occurs British folks, or their mates or household, typically ask whether or not it might have been prevented, and what might need made a distressing state of affairs extra bearable.
Since 2016, prevention has developed right into a core factor of our consular work, with elevated useful resource and experience devoted to it round our community.
Via our prevention work, each within the UK and abroad, we intention to offer data and steerage in order that people can take duty for themselves when they’re dwelling and travelling overseas. We determine dangers and search to cut back the variety of preventable incidents affecting British folks. We search for alternatives to share experience and construct native functionality to enhance the extent of help accessible for British folks when issues do go fallacious overseas. We work intently with host authorities, companions within the journey trade and others to help this work.
Journey Recommendation and public data on GOV.UK
We’re dedicated to maintaining our on-line public data clear, accessible and updated to assist British folks make knowledgeable selections about international journey. Our intention is to clarify the dangers and assist British folks perceive the actions they’ll take to maintain themselves protected when overseas.
Travel Advice is our most seen public going through service, receiving 44 million pageviews in pre-pandemic 2019. In 2020, our Journey Recommendation pages acquired 111 million pageviews as British folks relied on it as a supply of up-to-date data when getting ready to journey through the pandemic. A workforce of devoted FCDO consultants work 24/7, one year a yr to maintain FCDO Journey Recommendation updated.
We offer Journey Recommendation for 226 international locations and territories. This consists of data on entry necessities, the safety state of affairs, native legal guidelines and customs, health-related data and the dangers from pure disasters and terrorism. We additionally present detailed data for particular occasions, akin to main sporting events or for pilgrims happening Hajj. The security of British folks is all the time our key consideration in figuring out Journey Recommendation – financial and political concerns don’t affect the recommendation we give.
Our ‘Living in Guides’ include recommendation for British folks dwelling overseas, together with about residency, well being and advantages. This consists of particular recommendation for individuals who certified as EU residents following the UK’s departure from the European Union.
Utilizing communications campaigns and dealing with companions to extend the attain of our messages to focus on audiences
Travel Aware is our established, ‘all the time on’ marketing campaign that has run since 2014. It encompasses all proactive and reactive communications exercise that promotes the FCDO’s Journey Recommendation to British people who find themselves planning to journey, at present travelling, or dwelling abroad. Key messages embody encouraging British nationals to have applicable journey insurance coverage, to learn our Journey Recommendation for his or her vacation spot and join alerts.
We work with companions akin to airways, airports, tour operators, cruise strains and journey insurance coverage corporations each within the UK and overseas to advertise traveller security in any respect levels of the service they provide to prospects.
The influence of COVID-19 meant that travelling overseas in the summertime of 2021 was totally different. There have been advanced guidelines and procedures round entry necessities and vaccinations certificates which British travellers wanted to grasp and take motion on earlier than travelling or upon arrival in locations. Our problem was to offer immediate, up-to-date data for travellers. The Journey Conscious marketing campaign ran from June to September and focused audiences all through the shopper journey with key messages round entry necessities, buying applicable journey insurance coverage and signing as much as Journey Recommendation electronic mail alerts.
The marketing campaign was supported by our companions throughout the journey and tourism sector who helped to a number of our key messages and drive their prospects to our Journey Recommendation pages.
The Journey Conscious marketing campaign generated over 3 million pageviews of Journey Recommendation with analysis displaying that 65% of people that had seen the marketing campaign had taken motion, akin to checking Journey Recommendation for his or her vacation spot.
Working with host authorities and companions to cut back dangers, share experience and construct capability to enhance the help British folks obtain overseas
We focus our Prevention work on the problems that almost all have an effect on British folks travelling and dwelling overseas. Utilizing data from our casework information, in addition to buyer suggestions and our proactive analysis, we goal and prioritise sure points and areas on the earth the place we imagine taking preventative motion could make a distinction. We share studying and good apply from our prevention undertaking work with companions and throughout our world community. We repeatedly evaluation our work to make sure influence.
Our abroad embassies, excessive commissions and consulates spot potential dangers, which permits us to alert host authorities and work with them to make sure that these dwelling or visiting the nation are as protected as attainable. For instance, in Thailand we influenced native authorities in Chang Mai to introduce stricter rental agreements for bike rent that included carrying helmets.
‘Stick With Your Mates’
Our workforce within the Balearic Islands witnessed a rise within the variety of critical falls within the resorts of Magaluf and San Antonio in 2018, Most victims had been aged 18 to 30 years, drunk/medicine and alone (71%) once they fell.
The FCDO began a undertaking to vary behaviours to encourage younger holidaymakers to remain collectively: ‘Stick with your Mates’. Alongside a focused communications marketing campaign, the FCDO labored with NGOs, companions, native influencers and police to encourage younger folks in occasion resorts to get again safely to their lodging after an evening out. In comparison with the earlier yr there have been 61% fewer critical falls and 50% fewer deadly accidents.
Our Prevention work consists of sharing experience and constructing capability domestically to enhance the extent of help accessible for British folks or households when issues do go fallacious abroad. To help British victims in instances of rape and sexual assault overseas we’re working with native authorities in a number of key places to enhance the help they supply, alongside devoted coaching for our groups. Our goal is to make sure that British nationals, and different victims, obtain prime quality, empathetic help and are higher capable of perceive native procedures and the choices accessible to them.
Help for victims of rape and sexual assault
Our Embassy in Peru lobbied the Peruvian authorities to embed a victim-centred method to working with victims of rape and sexual assault. Following the sharing of UK experience and highlighting the advantages of a one cease store for victims of rape and sexual assault, in 2022 the first-ever Sexual Assault Referral Centre was launched in Lima.
We labored with the Sri Lanka Ministry of Overseas Affairs, Lawyer Normal and the Excessive Fee of Sri Lanka in London to remove the boundaries that had been stopping survivors of rape and sexual assault from with the ability to testify in Sri Lankan court docket proceedings by way of video hyperlink from the UK. Because of this survivors now not have to both stay in Sri Lanka after the incident or return to the nation later for court docket proceedings, decreasing the chance of re-traumatisation. As well as, it will increase the chance that alleged perpetrators will stand trial, which in flip could act as a deterrent.
Throughout this technique cycle
proceed to make use of information, suggestions and insights to determine key dangers and traits in our consular help work so as to focus our prevention work the place it’s most wanted. We’ll construct experience in our community to identify rising traits and take into account how greatest to deal with them in a holistic means
present well timed, correct and related data to allow British folks to concentrate on dangers they might face in a specific nation. This consists of our Travel Advice and different GOV.UK content material akin to our Living in Guides. We’ll evaluation Journey Recommendation content material, platform and person expertise, to make sure it’s match for goal, by session with the journey and insurance coverage industries and person analysis. We’ll guarantee our inner processes are agile and permit for clear and well timed Journey Recommendation updates
use proactive communications campaigns and work with a variety of journey and insurance coverage trade companions to extend the attain of our messages to our goal audiences. We’ll proceed to encourage British folks travelling overseas to take motion by studying our Journey Recommendation to concentrate on native legal guidelines and necessities on travellers; to join alerts, for instance if there’s an pressing change within the native state of affairs; to take out applicable journey insurance coverage; and pay attention to the help the FCDO can (and can’t) present
work with native stakeholders to share experience and construct capability to enhance the expertise British folks have once they need assistance from one other nation’s authorities. We’ll share UK expertise and experience to assist enhance native capabilities and construct capability within the applicable authorities abroad. We’ll look to determine native charities and different organisations who can help British folks overseas when issues go fallacious and specialist assist is required
work with like-minded international locations to foyer for adjustments to native legal guidelines for the advantage of all. The place we see alternatives to share greatest apply or to introduce necessities to enhance security, we’ll look to work with companions to assist scale back dangers. This consists of working with tour operators in international locations the place we now have recognized traits in British folks needing consular help to make their prospects conscious of the particular dangers in that location
We’ll keep a world main disaster response functionality.
Each time a serious incident occurs overseas, akin to a pure catastrophe or excessive climate occasion, a large-scale accident, civil unrest, terrorism or battle, British folks could also be affected. The FCDO should be able to flex and scale our consular response to help those that are immediately impacted and want our assist.
Our first consular technique, printed in 2004, recognised disaster planning and response as one in all our key capabilities – reflecting that we had learnt vital classes from the 9/11 assaults in 2001, the Bali Bombings of 2002 and the terrorist assaults in Istanbul in 2003. It set out plans for improved contingency planning and emergency response. Each consular technique since has seemed to make sure we’re capable of each help British folks in disaster conditions, and to proceed to enhance how we plan and reply. Now we have invested in a devoted disaster centre and constructed specialist disaster groups, able to deploy globally.
Since 2020, 3 crises have required responses of extraordinary scale, complexity and period: the worldwide repatriation of over 38,000 British nationals at first of the COVID-19 pandemic; the evacuation of over 15,000 British nationals and others from Afghanistan; and the response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. These occasions underlined the very important function of consular providers within the authorities’s response to worldwide crises, and the necessity for the FCDO to be prepared to answer incidents of all sizes and complexity. Our dedication to steady enchancment is embedded in employees tradition and in disaster programs. Now we have an intensive programme of classes realized from the unprecedented crises of the previous 2 years, and we’ll proceed to enhance our disaster response capabilities, programs and constructions, together with by capitalising on new applied sciences.
Planning and preparedness
For the reason that unprecedented operation to help British folks across the globe to return residence at first of the pandemic, we now have constructed up our contingency planning capabilities. This may allow us to undertake detailed planning work – along with authorities companions – to mitigate and reply to essentially the most critical dangers whereas additionally persevering with to offer consular providers to British folks.
Throughout 2021, FCDO disaster preparedness and response included:
- over 5,500 employees throughout authorities and the FCDO world community skilled
- a coordinated response to a number of crises together with: Myanmar coup, Afghanistan disaster, Chad and Ethiopia conflicts
- 12 Fast Deployment Groups deployed
- over 15,000 folks assisted
- over 50,000 calls to our Consular Contact Centres throughout crises
Though it’s unattainable to foretell when or the place the following disaster will strike, we proceed to refine how we determine and put together for abroad disaster dangers, guaranteeing that the FCDO has strong plans in place to reply appropriately. We consistently replace and enhance our common programme of coaching and workout routines, to make sure that the FCDO retains the fitting expertise and capabilities and to boost the disaster preparedness of our employees.
Following our response to the 2017 Caribbean hurricanes, we elevated the variety of employees who’re disaster skilled and prepared to answer surges in demand and have continued to extend capability. The everlasting disaster groups in London are supported by skilled volunteer employees from throughout the UK and abroad community. Abroad, our embassies, high commissions and consulates lead on disaster response and are bolstered by help from the Fast Deployment Groups, made up of over 200 employees volunteers from throughout the community.
Bettering communication in a disaster
Calls and on-line enquiries surge considerably within the preliminary levels of a disaster and we all know that efficient communication with British folks all through intervals of disaster is an important a part of our response. Our 24/7 Providers programme has expanded our capacity to handle massive and speedy will increase in incoming requests for recommendation and help, significantly in intervals of disaster. The underpinning expertise enhancements will even make these extra resilient and versatile.
Latest crises have strengthened the necessity for improved methods to have the ability to set up the place British persons are throughout a disaster, and to have the ability to talk with them shortly. Our ‘Register Your Presence’ on-line instrument has helped enhance our understanding of the place British persons are situated in a disaster and can be utilized to extra simply talk immediately with these affected. We’ll proceed to hunt methods to make sure British nationals and their instant dependents are conscious of our recommendation and learn how to entry our help throughout a disaster.
Built-in humanitarian response
With the creation of the Overseas Commonwealth & Growth Workplace we now have extra intently built-in our humanitarian response with our wider disaster response constructions, drawing on the respective expertise, expertise and capabilities of the two former organisations. Within the first levels of a humanitarian disaster, capabilities akin to funding preparations with trusted companions, deployable humanitarian consultants and UK assist provides will be initiated by the Humanitarian Response Group. This was put to the take a look at through the Ethiopia disaster in 2021, the place political, consular and humanitarian components of the FCDO’s response had been intently coordinated.
Throughout this technique cycle
work with colleagues throughout authorities, and worldwide companions to make sure that our new contingency planning functionality is focussed on agreed precedence dangers, develop coordinated plans, and draw on the complete vary of experience to offer built-in consular, political and humanitarian help when a disaster occurs
enhance our end-to-end evacuation course of, work with companions throughout authorities to make sure a constant method to assisted departures, together with military-enabled evacuations, within the occasion it’s wanted. We’ll enhance our capacity to help the speedy departure of British nationals in periods of disaster together with by the supply of journey paperwork and emergency monetary help
be sure that FCDO employees, within the UK and abroad, are ready for his or her function in a disaster by increasing our disaster coaching and management programme, persevering with to construct our UK and abroad response cadres and guaranteeing employees are skilled and supported to answer crises. We’ll construct on advantages of distant groups and the worldwide community which we utilised through the pandemic to strengthen our agile and resilient 24/7 disaster response functionality
be sure that those that have to contact the FCDO throughout an abroad disaster can achieve this simply and effectively, in order that assist will get the place it’s wanted. We’ll guarantee we are able to shortly scale up our 24/7 name and enquiry dealing with, use our new cloud contact system to route disaster calls extra successfully, no matter the place on the earth they originate, change messaging instantly whether or not on phone programs or social media, and be sure that we reply shortly and constantly whatever the means folks selected to contact us
proceed to develop means to speak extra simply with, and immediately assist, these impacted by a disaster – for instance, by additional refining use of our ‘Register Your Presence’ on-line instrument and our texting service ‘Notify’
undertake an built-in case administration system to exchange our now finish of life Disaster Hub software program and handle all instances the place British nationals search consular help, together with in a disaster. This implies folks won’t have to repeat their particulars and that every one employees working to help them will be capable to view actions and replace data
proceed to make higher use of humanitarian experience by supporting our community to arrange for humanitarian emergencies and ship the UK’s preliminary humanitarian response. Our Humanitarian Response Group will proceed to offer humanitarian threat evaluation and early warning, and we’ll combine humanitarian response into our planning, coaching and exercising