Information Regarding Suspension of Peace Corps Programs in Central Asia

October 1, 2001

Washington, D.C., October 1, 2001—The Peace Corps announced today its decision to suspend its programs in the Central Asian nations of Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The 105 currently serving Peace Corps Volunteers and American staff in Turkmenistan were relocated last week to Washington, D.C. The 149 Volunteers and American staff from Uzbekistan and the 57 Volunteers and American staff from Kyrgyzstan returned to Washington, D.C. over the last few days.

The Peace Corps has been assessing the viability of its program in these particular countries because of the security environment in the region. Extensive attention has been given to the safety and security for our Volunteers and to strengthening Peace Corps’ capacity to evaluate, to prevent and to respond systematically to security issues as they arise.

Nearly 1,200 Volunteers have worked in Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan since the first groups arrived in 1993. Initial projects focused on the teaching of the English language, health education, environmental work and business development. Outside of the classroom, Peace Corps Volunteers have taught over 12,750 students and have worked with local counterparts to establish resource and computer centers, drama and sports clubs and to enrich local libraries.

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