What the Department of State Can and Can’t Do in a Crisis
U.S. embassies can assist U.S.Citizens abroad who are temporarily destitute due to unforeseen circumstances. U.S. Citizens who find themselves in these circumstances should contact the American Citizen Services unit of the Embassy or the State Department’s Office of Overseas Citizens Services at 880 2 5566 2000. Consular officers can help destitute U.S. Citizens contact family, bank, or employer to arrange for transfer of funds. In some cases, these funds can be wired through the Department of State. For information on how a consular officer can help under these circumstances, see https://travel.state.gov/.
Fund transfers from the U.S. are straightforward. Most people can arrange family or friends to get them money through commercial channels with the help of a collect phone call. Money on credits and through Western Union is the fastest and easiest. Although there is a mechanism for transferring funds through the Department of State, it is slower and more complex than through commercial channels in a country.