Peace Corps Suspends Program in China

Washington, D.C. April 5, 2003 – Today, Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez announced the temporary suspension of the Peace Corps program in China.

“The health and safety of Peace Corps volunteers is the highest priority of the Agency. After a thorough assessment of growing concerns with regard to the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), it was determined that it would be in the best interest of the volunteers to temporarily suspend the program in China,” stated Director Vasquez. “We will continue to monitor developments and look forward to returning Peace Corps volunteers to China when conditions permit.”

The Office of Medical Services (OMS) at Peace Corps headquarters in Washington, D.C. is in daily contact with Peace Corps medical officers in China. OMS also consults frequently with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to stay apprised of the latest developments.

If families have questions or concerns, they may contact the Peace Corps’ Office of Special Services at 1-800-424-8580, extension 1470, or after hours at 202-638-2574. The Office of Special Services maintains a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week duty system.

For recent updates from the CDC and WHO please consult the corresponding websites: and

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