FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, October 7, 1999
Peace Corps Re-Opens Program in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Washington, D.C., October 7, 1999—Acting Peace Corps Director Charles Baquet III announced today that the Peace Corps has re-opened its program in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), which was suspended last spring due to the conflict in neighboring Kosovo.
Three of the 33 Peace Corps volunteers who were evacuated in March from FYROM have now returned, and 15 new volunteers are expected to arrive on Saturday, after a brief orientation today and tomorrow here in Washington. The Peace Corps office in the Macedonian capital of Skopje remained open during the suspension, with staff continuing to work there to prepare for volunteers to resume their duties.
"When we suspended the program in April, we said we hoped that we could return. I am pleased that circumstances have changed to the point that we can continue to build on the success we have enjoyed since we first sent volunteers to Macedonia three years ago," Baquet said.
The Macedonian Ambassador to the United States, Ljubica Acevska, will address the new volunteers at a hotel in Washington this afternoon. All the volunteers will be involved in education projects; some will also work with some local mayors and non-governmental organizations. Currently, more than 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers are working in 78 countries to bring clean water to communities, teach children, protect the environment, help start new businesses, and prevent the spread of AIDS. Since 1961, more than 155,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps.
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