The Peace Corps has evacuated all its 82 volunteers currently serving in Nepal citing the COVID-19 outbreak.
This week, the Washington DC-based Peace Corps decided to suspend all its volunteer operations worldwide and begin evacuating them back to the United States. It said the decision was taken due to ‘ever-increasing number of travel restrictions’ which made it difficult for volunteers to travel back home for urgent medical attention if needed.
“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,” Peace Corps Director Jody K. Olsen said. “They play a critical role in every element of the Peace Corps mission, especially in a time of crisis.”
Over the past five decades, some 4,000 American volunteers have served in Nepal working one ducation, health and environment protection, and many have gone on to become diplomats and public figures. Volunteers have developed life-long relationship with Nepal and with Nepali communities and families.
Peace Corps Nepal said it is committed to the quick return of volunteers when possible, and its staff in Kathmandu would work with Nepali partners and communities to prepare for their return.