Peace Corps Suspends Program in Haiti

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 21, 2004, UPDATED 3:00 pm - Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez announced the suspension of the Peace Corps program in Haiti effective immediately.

“The Peace Corps has had a successful program in Haiti, making great strides in the areas of agriculture, small business development and working on health and HIV/AIDS education and awareness. The safety and security of the volunteer is the number one priority of the Peace Corps and in light of the current conditions in Haiti, suspension of the program is a necessary action,” said Peace Corps Director Vasquez.

Currently, all 76 Peace Corps volunteers have safely left the country.

The Peace Corps has served in Haiti a total of 14 years and consecutively since 1996. Agriculture volunteers have helped address poverty, unemployment, and environmental degradation by assisting non-governmental organizations with programs in agroforestry, agricultural extension, agribusiness, microcredit, and community development. Peace Corps volunteers in business development have also helped create and sustain small business opportunities for the rural poor improving their access to financial services. In addition, health volunteers worked primarily with women and children stressing the importance of immunizations, sanitation, child and maternal health and the prevention of HIV/AIDs.

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.

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