The new charitable fund for British victims of terror abroad
The following is a statement (first_half_of_statement, second_half_of_statement) made by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Jack Straw) to Parliament on 21st March 2006 regarding the question of financial support for British citizens caught up in terrorist attacks abroad.
The Chancellor (Mr Gordon Brown) set aside, in the 2006 budget, £1m for this fund.
It is clear that this fund is not to provide compensation. It is intended to alleviate some of the immediate financial problems victims of terrorism face. Payments may not be automatic, but will be based on a needs assessment.
The government is assuming the British Red Cross will administer the fund. But the BRC has not yet been approached and hasn’t the resources to administer the fund anyway. The details of how this fund will work are being finalised by Tessa Jowell, the Secretary for Culture, Media and Sport.
This is a welcomed first step that would not have occurred without pressure from the media. The £1m donation is obviously not enough and is merely a token to relieve the negative press. It is also an example of the government not wishing to take responsibility for administrating such funds but to pass the responsibility onto other organisations.
The BRC have said “The Government have asked the British Red Cross to administer the fund the Chancellor has set up. The detail is still being worked out but basically it will make relatively small payments to British victims of terrorism abroad who have been seriously injured or their relatives if they are killed. If this goes ahead, then the British Red Cross will try to fund raise for the Fund”.
“It is unlikely that large sums will be raised and that the Government will need to be prepared to top up the fund.”
“It is likely the fund will be administered by a group probably made up of BRC staff and trustees but with some independent advice.”
“The fund will be only for British victims of terror abroad. “
The UKBBVG has formed a subcommittee to per sue the forming of this charity. The next meeting iis 24th August 2006.
The Rt Hon. Tessa Jowell (British Secretary of state for Culture Media and Sport) has been given responsibility for implementing the Chancellor’s (Gordon Brown) £1m donation to a new charitable fund for UK’s victims of terror abroad. See here for more details.