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What About Safety?

Health, safety and security are the Peace Corps' top priorities. The Peace Corps is committed to providing every Volunteer with the training, guidance and support they need to remain healthy, safe and productive throughout their service.

Yet because Volunteers serve worldwide, sometimes in very remote areas, health and safety risks are an inherent part of Volunteer service. Volunteers can reduce these risks by following recommendations for locally appropriate behavior, exercising sound judgment, and abiding by Peace Corps policies and procedures. In the effort to ensure a productive, healthy, and safe experience for Volunteers, the Peace Corps reviews work and housing sites in advance, collaborates on project development with local communities, and develops and tests plans for responding to emergencies.

In addition, the Peace Corps continually updates materials for Volunteers with specific information about safety and security risks in the areas where they serve. This enables Peace Corps Volunteers to make informed decisions and have a safe, healthy Volunteer experience.

Health and Safety During Service

Before establishing a program, the Peace Corps makes a thorough assessment of the health and safety conditions of the country. And in choosing sites at which to place Volunteers, we carefully consider factors such as work role, potential for integration, existence of suitable living arrangements, vulnerability to natural disasters, availability of communication and transportation, especially in cases of emergency, access to essential health care and other support services, security climate, and consent of host authorities. If a Volunteer feels at risk of imminent bodily harm at a site, the Volunteer may request removal from the site and the Peace Corps post will remove the Volunteer.

In every country in which Volunteers serve, the Peace Corps maintains a medical unit staffed by one or more medical providers. They inform Volunteers about local health issues and provide them with the basic medical supplies and vaccinations they need to stay healthy. If a Volunteer becomes ill and cannot be treated properly in the country of service, the Peace Corps will transport the Volunteer to an appropriate facility in a nearby country or to the U.S.

Safety and Security in Depth
Find the answers to frequently asked questions about safety and security here.
Reducing Risks and Supporting Volunteers
The Peace Corps has established new policies and practices that reflect its strong commitment to reducing risks for Volunteers and responding effectively and compassionately to those who are victims of crime, including sexual assault.
Resources for Family and Friends
This information addresses the common questions and interests shared by many family members and friends of prospective or current Peace Corps Volunteers.

Last updated Jan 30 2014