Peace Corps to Send Crisis Corps Volunteers to Bosnia and Herzegovina for First Time

April 25, 2001

Washington, D.C., April 25, 2001—Peace Corps Acting Director Charles R. Baquet III announced today that this week the Peace Corps will send short-term volunteers through its Crisis Corps program to Bosnia and Herzegovina for the first time.

"Sending volunteers to Bosnia and Herzegovina is a momentous step for the Peace Corps and for the people of the country," Baquet said. "These volunteers bring international experience and professional skills to countries that have experienced natural disasters and civil unrest, and they are able to start immediately to provide assistance."

"We are proud that 40 years after the first Peace Corps volunteers rose to the challenge of serving others overseas, volunteers continue to answer the call to serve and strengthen personal ties between our countries."

The Crisis Corps is a Peace Corps program, initiated in 1996, that mobilizes returned Peace Corps volunteers to help countries address critical needs on a short-term basis. Through their prior Peace Corps service, Crisis Corps volunteers have language, technical and cross-cultural skills that can make an effective contribution in the most challenging environments.

The eight short-term volunteers will spend up to six months working with international aid organizations and local Bosnia and Herzegovina municipalities and nongovernmental organizations on such projects as agriculture extension, business development, information technology and urban planning.

Once in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the volunteers will begin their service with two weeks of intensive technical, language, cross-cultural and safety and security training before heading to their work sites.

The Peace Corps' formal entry into Bosnia and Herzegovina began in 1998 when the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina first requested discussions that would lead to an agreement for a Peace Corps program. Representatives of the United States and Bosnia and Herzegovina signed the agreement formally establishing the Peace Corps program on February 26th of this year.

Bosnia and Herzegovina represents the 27th country for which the Crisis Corps has provided volunteers. This is the first instance of Crisis Corps volunteers serving in a country that has never before had a Peace Corps presence. To date, more than 380 Crisis Corps Volunteers have served in Latin America, Africa, the Pacific, Asia, and Eastern Europe.



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