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Peace Corps to suspend operations, evacuate volunteers worldwide

Peace Corps to suspend operations, evacuate volunteers worldwide

The Peace Corps is suspending all operations globally and evacuating all volunteers over the spread of the new coronavirus. In an open letter to volunteers posted on Sunday on its website, the federal agency’s director, Jody Olsen, says the decision follows recent evacuations in China and Mongolia due to the outbreak.

Olsen said that with evacuations now underway at other posts and travel becoming more challenging by the day, the agency decided to expand the suspension and evacuations.

“We are acting now to safeguard your well-being and prevent a situation where volunteers are unable to leave their host countries,” Olsen said.

The Peace Corps, established in 1961, has volunteers performing community work in more than 60 countries. More than 235,000 Americans have served in 141 countries since the agency’s inception.