Peace Corps will evacuate ALL of its volunteers and halt worldwide operations amid coronavirus fears
- Peace Corps announced the volunteers’ evacuation in an open letter on Sunday
- Director Jody Olsen says decision taken to ‘safeguard volunteers’ well-being’
- Workers from host countries who work with the organization are to stay put
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The Peace Corps is suspending its operations globally and evacuating all volunteers in light of the spread of coronavirus.
After initially evacuating volunteers from China and Mongolia the US government funded organization has now called for all of its volunteers, in over 60 countries, to evacuate.
In an open letter to volunteers posted Sunday on its website, the federal agency’s director, Jody Olsen, says the decision was taken to ‘safeguard the well-being’ of volunteers.
Volunteers of U.S. Peace Corps wearing Ukrainian national costumes attend a ceremony as they swear an oath of allegiance in Kiev, Ukraine, 2017
Olsen says that with evacuations now underway at other posts and international travel becoming more challenging by the day, the agency decided to expand the suspension and evacuations to all of its posts.
Ms Olsen wrote: ‘As COVID-19 continues to spread and international travel becomes more and more challenging by the day, we are acting now to safeguard your well-being and prevent a situation where volunteers are unable to leave their host countries.’
Olsen says the posts are not closing and that the agency looks forward to returning to normal operations when conditions permit.
In an open letter to volunteers posted Sunday on its website, the federal agency’s director, Jody K. Olsen, says the decision was taken to ‘safeguard the well-being’ of volunteers
Open letter: Ms Olsen says the posts are not closing and that the agency looks forward to returning to normal operations when conditions permit
Workers from host countries who work with the organisation are to stay put.
The letter says country directors would be providing more information to volunteers.
The Peace Corps was established in 1961 during the Kennedy administration as a government-run volunteer program serving nations around the world.
Its website says volunteers perform community work in more than 60 countries today and that more than 235,000 Americans have served in 141 countries since its inception.