Through the Decades: 2020s
Due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, all Volunteers and Trainees around the world are evacuated. This marks the first time in the history of Peace Corps that all operations are suspended.
To provide service to global communities during the pandemic, Peace Corps launches a Virtual Service Pilot (VSP) with nine posts and 45 participants—formerly Volunteers. Since then we have continued to expand the program, working remotely in the areas of education, health, community economic development, agriculture, youth programming and environmental protection.
The Peace Corps celebrates the 35th Anniversary of the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program, which offers returned Peace Corps Volunteers the opportunity to pursue graduate and post-graduate degrees. Though the program started at Teachers College, Columbia University, the Peace Corps now partners with more than 120 institutes of higher education across 37 states. More than 5,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have participated in the program since its inception.
For only the second time in Peace Corps history, Volunteers are deployed domestically for service. Working alongside the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 158 Peace Corps Response Volunteers begin three-month assignments helping FEMA in their Covid-19 vaccine distribution efforts.
Peace Corps Response, formerly Crisis Corps, celebrates its 25th anniversary of sending experienced professionals overseas to serve in specialized, short-term assignments.