Peace Corps Temporarily Suspends Program in Chad

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 14, 2006 Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez has announced the temporary suspension of the Peace Corps program in Chad.

Over the past two months, there have been frequent attempts to destabilize the government of Chad by rebel forces in the country. In light of current conditions and concerns for volunteer safety, the Peace Corps has determined that a temporary suspension of the program is necessary.

"It is with tremendous regret that the Peace Corps is temporarily suspending its program in Chad at this time," said Director Vasquez. "The security of Peace Corps volunteers is the highest priority. All Peace Corps volunteers have safely left the country."

The Peace Corps first arrived in Chad in 1966 after the country gained independence from France. Volunteers provided support in education, health, water supplies and forestry until the program was closed in 1979. The Peace Corps re-entered Chad in 1987 and remained there until the program was closed again in 1998. The Peace Corps reopened the Chad program in 2003 with a focus on teaching English as a foreign language. In addition to teaching English, all volunteers incorporated HIV/AIDS education into their lesson plans and projects.

To date, a total of 726 volunteers have served in Chad. At the time of suspension, the Peace Corps had 29 volunteers in Chad.

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