Emergency Medical and Dietary Assistance Loans

The Emergency Medical and Dietary Assistance (EMDA) has two programs:


The Emergency Medical and Dietary Assistance (EMDA-I) program is designed to assist U.S. citizens/nationals abroad who, because of their incarceration, cannot secure the minimal medical treatment or dietary regimen necessary to sustain an acceptable standard of life. EMDA-I consists of three services:

  • Provision of emergency medical treatment of U.S. citizen/national prisoners;
  • Short-term provision of full feeding for prisoners in detention centers where meals are not normally furnished by incarcerating authorities; and
  • Provision of dietary supplements to U.S. prisoners in areas where local conditions or local diets do not provide the minimum requirements to sustain adequate health.


Destitute U.S. citizens abroad who are not in prison are considered eligible to receive emergency medical treatment assistance under the following general criteria:

  • There are medical indications that emergency medical assistance is necessary to prevent, or attempt to prevent, the loss of life or limb, or that failure to provide service may cause permanent disability;
  • All reasonable attempts to obtain private resources have failed or such resources do not exist;
  • Adequate treatment for an emergency physical or emergency psychiatric condition cannot or will not be provided by the host government or by local medical facilities unless advance guarantee of payment of costs incurred is given.