3 FAM 7160 

FSN Emergency Relief Fund

(CT:PER-1035;   04-16-2021)
(Office of Origin:  CGFS/EDCS)

3 FAM 7161  Purpose and policy

(CT:PER-1035;   04-16-2021)

a. The Foreign Service National (FSN) Emergency Relief Fund (the Relief Fund) was established in 1994 to respond to a crisis caused by natural disasters, civil unrest, targeted attacks, or "in the line of duty" incidents.

b. The Fund is one of the Gift Fund programs managed by the Office of Emergencies in the Diplomatic and Consular Service (CGFS/EDCS).  Funding for this program is not appropriated and is sustained solely by voluntary financial contributions.

c.  Disbursements provided to LE Staff Members (formerly FSNs) represent partial reimbursement for certain lost or damaged property due to national disasters or civil unrest, as well as compensation for certain personal injuries.  Due to financial limitations, no non-work-related medical events such as surgeries, therapy or equipment, medical bills, or medication are covered by the Fund.


(CT:PER-1035;   04-16-2021)

For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:

Civil unrest includes mass riots or protests; military or rebel attacks; and government-initiated actions that cause damage.

Foreign Service National (FSN) has the same meaning as in 3 FAM 7121.  It includes Locally Employed (LE) Staff, including local guard force employees.  The term does not cover Official Residence Expense (domestic) workers, third-party contractors, or personal service contractors.

Natural disaster means any natural or weather-related event that results in flooding or damage, including earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes, tornadoes, and wildfires and fires in the primary residence of an employee.

PMO is the Post Management Officer assigned to the regional bureau’s Office of the Executive Director.

Targeted attacks and "Line of Duty" Incident includes an attack on a Mission; an attack on U.S. government property while the LE Staff member  is on duty; an attack on the LE Staff member outside of work as a result of his or her employment with the U.S. government; or accidental injury of the LE Staff member in the line of duty.

"The Committee" is the FSN Emergency Relief Fund Committee, which considers requests for formal assistance from the Fund, and is comprised of representatives from each regional bureau, GTM/OE, CGFS/EDCS, and the M Special Assistant.

3 FAM 7163  Authorities

(CT:PER-945;   05-18-2019)

a. Section 25 of the State Department Basic Authorities Act, Acceptance of Gifts on Behalf of the United States (22 U.S.C. 2697).

b. Section 4 of the State Department Basic Authorities Act, Emergency Expenditures (22 U.S.C. 2671).

c.  Delegation of Authority No. 462, dated January 9, 2019, by which the Secretary of State delegated to the Under Secretary for Management (M) management-related functions now vested or which in the future may be vested in the Secretary relating to the laws or regulations administered by the bureaus under his or her supervision.

3 FAM 7164  SUbmitting a request for assistance

(CT:PER-768;   05-21-2015)

a. The request for formal assistance is coordinated with the PMO.  The post gathers details and sends in a formal request for financial assistance.  In the case of property damage, the request focuses on the integrity (foundation) of the LE Staff member’s home and essential household items that he or she will need.  The formal request includes the items in 3 FAM Exhibit 7164(1).  Sample requests are in 3 FAM Exhibits 7164(2)(A) and 7164(2)(B).

b. If the LE Staff member needs immediate assistance, there is the possibility of an immediate humanitarian payment and or a donation of excess property, described below.

3 FAM 7164.1  Immediate Humanitarian Payment

(CT:PER-1035;   04-16-2021)

a. The post may request an immediate humanitarian payment of $100 each for affected personnel.  This is generally used in cases of natural disasters, and the payment is intended to provide emergency financial assistance to procure food or shelter while the LE Staff member surveys the damage to his or her property.

b. Post submits this request to CGFS/EDCS through the PMO, and provides an approximate number of affected people based on the number of LE staff at post or the number of employees reporting damage.

c.  Post issues the payment immediately to all significantly affected LE Staff members upon receipt of the fiscal data from CGFS/EDCS.  If there are additional employees that should be added to the list or were otherwise initially overlooked, the post should request an increase in the obligation to cover those personnel.  The individual payments should not be reduced in order to evenly distribute the available funds.

d. Unless the employee states that his or her estimated damages will be less than $100, he or she receives $100 under this program.

3 FAM 7164.2  Donation of Excess Personal Property

(CT:PER-768;   05-21-2015)

a. In the case of property loss, the post may, in accordance with applicable law and regulation, donate excess personal property to eligible LE staff.  Posts are reminded that property may not be classified as excess without approval by the Chief, Property Management Branch (A/LM/PMP/PM).  Examples of items, once approved for disposal as excess, include, but are not limited to, lamps, sofas, mattresses, and dishes.  See 14 FAM 417.2-5 for a discussion of the proper disposition of excess property to charities.

b. If the post donates excess personal property to an eligible employee, the General Service Officer (GSO) documents and records that the excess property is donated to the Relief Fund.  After this step is taken, the post proceeds with the distribution of the excess property as needed.

3 FAM 7165  procedure for consideration of requests

3 FAM 7165.1  Policy

(CT:PER-768;   05-21-2015)

a. The Committee considers a wide variety of factors when deciding on whether to grant the request and, if so, how much the disbursement will be.  The most significant environmental concerns at post that could affect the recommended payment include, but are not limited to:

(1)  The local compensation plan;

(2)  The economy;

(3)  The gravity of the disaster or incident;

(4)  Availability of raw materials and goods to facilitate rebuilding;

(5)  Local efforts of fundraising at post;

(6)  Any host government assistance; and

(7)  The employee’s years of service and number of dependents.

b. In order to determine equitable payouts, the following formula will be applied to all cases, in addition to consideration of the environmental factors listed above:

(1)  The final disbursement will be capped at one month’s salary at the midpoint of the LE pay scale using the gross rate; or

(2)  In case of injury in the line of duty, disbursements are capped at one month’s salary based on the local pay scale, but no more than $1,800 for minor injuries and up to $2,500 for serious injuries.

3 FAM 7165.2  Procedure

(CT:PER-1035;   04-16-2021)

a. PMOs meet with the Committee to present and review the cases and to determine individual payments.  The Committee will make a determination for each requestor.

b. During the Committee meeting, the PMO provides background on the cases so that the Committee is able to assess the requests.

c.  The PMO’s knowledge of the individual circumstances, environmental factors, regional security, and the local economy allows him or her to assist in the Committee’s decision-making.

d. If the Committee approves the request, CGFS/EDCS drafts an Action Memo to the Under Secretary for Management (M) requesting disbursement of the funds.

e. Upon approval by M, CGFS/EDCS issues the disbursement via fiscal data to the PMO and post.  Alternatively, the PMO may include the fiscal data in a cable to post informing post of the disbursement.

f.  There is no procedure for reconsideration in situations where the Committee fails to recommend payment.

3 FAM 7165.3  Items Covered by the Fund

(CT:PER-768;   05-21-2015)

a. This is a list of essential items covered by the Fund:

·         Work uniforms (if not provided);

·         Work boots (if not provided);

·         Two sets of personal clothing for each family member (including tops, bottoms, undergarments, and shoes);

·         Stoves;

·         Refrigerators;

·         Bed sheets and comforters;

·         A portion of livestock and feed (grain);

·         Household furnishings (e.g., sofas, chairs, and mattresses); and

·         Primary residence structure (e.g., walls, ceilings, floors, and doors).

b. The following is a list of non-essential items not covered by the Fund:

·         Non-essential electronic items such as televisions, music devices, computers, cameras, and telephones);

·         Electric kitchen devices;

·         Jewelry;

·         Rugs;

·         Cash; and

·         Vehicles, motorcycles, or bicycles.

3 fam 7166  through 7169 unassigned


3 FAM Exhibit 7164(1)  
Formal Request

(CT:PER-768;   05-21-2015)

1. A formal request for assistance is submitted by the Regional Bureau's PMO and includes:

a.   A memo from the Bureau Executive Director summarizing the essential factors;

b.   A corresponding spreadsheet (see below) detailing the property damage and approximate value/cost of repair or replace, if applicable;

c.    Digital photos; and

d.   A copy of the post’s pay scale.

2. The spreadsheet includes the following categories:

a.   The LE Staff Member’s full name; office or agency; and grade /step;

b.   His or her salary;

c.    A list of (eligible) damaged items;

d.   Details of the damage (including whether the item will be repaired or replaced);

e.   A statement as to whether digital pictures are provided (if not, please explain why);

f.    LE Staff Member’s years of service;

g.   Number of dependent family members living in the damaged residence (primary only);

h.   Whether the damaged residence is rented or owned;

i.    Whether the landlord is contributing to the cost of repair or replacement of any items;

j.    Estimated costs of repair/replacement of items (in local currency);

k.   Estimated costs of repair/replacement of items (in U.S. dollars);

l.    If applicable, amount received from the immediate humanitarian payment (in local currency);

m.  If applicable, amount received from the immediate humanitarian payment (in U.S. dollars);

n.   Whether the LE Staff Member has previously received assistance from the Fund; and

o.   Any additional information about funding received from any mission fundraising efforts, any local government assistance, or local charities. (Format for Request for Assistance)

3 FAM Exhibit 7164(2)(A)  
Sample Request

(CT:PER-768;   05-21-2015)

MEMORANDUM to fsn Emergency relief fund committee


FROM:               EUR/EX

SUBJECT:   Request for Assistance from the FSN Emergency Relief Fund for an LE Staff Member at [post]



That you approve funds to assist ________, an LE Staff member, who was injured while on duty.

                        Approve _____________  Disapprove ______________



        During the early morning hours of July 4, 2014, three intruders climbed the back wall of the [post] office/residential compound and attempted to subdue the embassy-contracted local guards.  During the encounter, local guard ______ was shot in his side.  The intruders fled the scene while the Marine Detachment Commander awoke in his residence and sounded an audible alarm.  The guard remained in the hospital for three days, then returned home to rest. 


        _______ is married with six children.  ____ has been employed as a residential security guard at [post] for over seven years.  Locally, [post] personnel raised $437 for XX and his family.  We believe assistance from the fund will provide financial relief to XX’s family and recognize his dedication in protecting U.S. embassy facilities and personnel.  He continues to suffer the emotional trauma of the attack; however, he plans to return to work when released to do so.  Assistance to XX signals to his colleagues and community that his ongoing service is important, and recognized.


        Local Guard Force personnel throughout the world are the first line of defense for all Embassy personnel.  Their dedication and commitment to the performance of their duties supports the accomplishment of our diplomatic mission and promotion of foreign policy.



Tab 1 – RSO’s Incident Report or Cable from Post

Tab 2 – Copy of [post] LCP and pay scale





(Sample Application Memo for Personal Injury While on Duty)


3 FAM Exhibit 7164(2)(B)  
Sample Request

(CT:PER-768;   05-21-2015)



FROM:               EAP/EX

SUBJECT:   Request for Emergency Assistance from the FSN Emergency Relief Fund for LE Staff at [Post].



That you approve funds to assist 52 LE Staff members whose homes and property were damaged following flooding from Typhoon Jade.


                        Approve __________   Disapprove ___________



        In early December, the torrential rains that drenched the region have left all of Bangladesh in a state of disaster.  Mudslides and flooding have damaged infrastructure and killed more than 140 people.  Furthermore, over 70,000 people have been moved into government shelters because their homes were destroyed or are unstable.  The government has issued a declaration of a state of emergency and announced that resources and food supplies are running low.

        37 of our LE Staff have been forced to move into government shelters due to the extensive damage to their own homes.  The embassy has held local fundraisers and distributed $8,350 evenly to all 52 employees who have been affected (including the 37 in government shelters).

        We request assistance for 52 employees who have incurred moderate to significant property damage or loss as a result of the heavy rains and flooding.  The list includes employees from DOS, USAID, and the CDC.  The property damage is estimated at $82,252.



Tab 1 – Copy of Post’s LCP and pay scale

Tab 2 – Damages spreadsheet

Tab 3 – Digital photos of damaged properties




(Sample Application Memo and Spreadsheet for Property Damage)