On March 15, the Peace Corps, headquartered in Washington, DC, made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend all Volunteer operations worldwide and begin evacuating Volunteers from all posts due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes the evacuation of Peace Corps Volunteers from Nepal. This decision was precipitated by the ever-increasing number of travel restrictions throughout the world and the inability of Volunteers to travel back to their homes in the United States or to seek urgent medical care outside of their countries of service if needed.
The Director of the Peace Corps, Dr. Jody K. Olsen assured us that these evacuations are temporary. “We are not closing posts and programs, and we will be ready to return to normal operations when conditions permit. Importantly, our host country staff will remain in their current positions. They play a critical role in every element of the Peace Corps mission, especially in a time of crisis.”
“I know this is a very stressful time [for the world], for your country, and for the host communities that embraced our Volunteers, and our host country staff. I deeply appreciate your understanding as we work through these logistically challenging operations, and I am incredibly grateful for your continuous support of the Peace Corps.”
Peace Corps has a long and deep relationship with Nepal and with Nepali communities and families. Since 1962, almost 4,000 Americans have served as Peace Corps Volunteers here – working in education, environment and natural resource conservation, health, and community and youth development. Peace Corps is committed to the quick return of Volunteers serving in Nepal when possible. Peace Corps staff will continue to work with our Nepalese partners and communities to prepare for their return.
We are profoundly grateful to Government of Nepal and to our Nepalese host families, partners and communities for the incredible support, care, and generosity you have shown to the Peace Corps and to our Volunteers. We look forward not only to the return of Peace Corps Volunteers soon but also to the continued work that we do together.