FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, November 18, 2011
Peace Corps Suspends Program in Kazakhstan
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 18, 2011—Peace Corps has suspended its volunteer activities in Kazakhstan based on a number of operational considerations. All 117 Peace Corps volunteers serving in the country are safe and accounted for, and will soon be participating in a transition conference.
The Peace Corps has made significant contributions to the development of Kazakhstan for almost two decades, said Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams. For the past 18 years, Peace Corps volunteers have worked alongside their Kazakhstan counterparts to create a lasting impact that lives on in schools, clinics, NGOs and community and youth centers throughout the country. We thank the government and people of Kazakhstan for welcoming Peace Corps volunteers into their communities, and we are grateful for their strong support and partnership over the years.
Kazakhstan is celebrating its 20th anniversary of independence this year. According to the United Nations Development Programmes Human Development Index, Kazakhstan is one of the most developed countries in the world to host a Peace Corps program.
Peace Corps has operated in Kazakhstan without interruption since 1993. Over 1,120 Americans have served in Kazakhstan since the program was established, working with communities in projects focused on teaching English, education, youth development, HIV/AIDS prevention, and community development.
Families with questions or concerns may contact the Peace Corps Counseling and Outreach unit, which maintains a 24-hour, 7 days a week duty system. The telephone number during standard office hours is (800) 424-8580, extension 1470; the after-hours number is (202) 692-1470.
About the Peace Corps: President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, by executive order. Throughout 2011, Peace Corps is commemorating 50 years of promoting peace and friendship around the world. Historically, more than 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Today, 9,095 volunteers are working with local communities in 75 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.
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