Belgians in distress

Despite all your precautions, you get into a distress situation abroad. What to do?

Assistance in case of crisis

In the event of a natural disaster, calamity or accident involving a large number of Belgians, the crisis centre of the FPS Foreign Affairs is activated.
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What kind of assistance can the crisis centre provide?

From the moment the crisis centre is activated, it collaborates with Belgian posts abroad and tour operators concerned, insurers and other foreign affairs departments in Europe. The main task of the crisis centre is to exchange information and crisis plans with all these organisms and with the families and acquaintances who remained in Belgium. A team of coordinators and operators will make every effort to ensure that Belgians are known, traced and, if necessary, assembled in a secure location. In short, the crisis centre is the point of communication and coordination during a crisis.

In the most dramatic cases, repatriation is occasionally organised. However, this is not a standardised procedure, and not a “right of the citizen”. Most often, the traveller is warned about the presence of significant risks in some particular countries through the “Advice by country”.

What the crisis centre can't do for you?

  • Provide medical information. This falls within the exclusive responsibility of local medical or police personnel.
  • Inform of the deaths. Only the local police in Belgium is allowed to do so.
  • Contact your family abroad. The crisis centre collects all the necessary data and transmits them to the embassy or consulate, which will continue the communication abroad, as detailed in its crisis plan.