Peace Corps Volunteers in Madagascar Remain Safe

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 13, 2009 - The situation continues to remain calm today across Madagascar following civil unrest in the capital city of Antananarivo on Saturday, February 7. Volunteers in-country remain consolidated to ensure their safety.

Peace Corps staff in Madagascar are working closely with the U.S. Embassy to carefully monitor the situation, and to take appropriate action under the Peace Corps/Madagascar Emergency Action Plan. The safety and security of Volunteers is the number one priority of the Peace Corps.

Each Peace Corps program has an Emergency Action Plan specific to that country and developed in cooperation with Peace Corps Washington and the local U.S. Embassy. The plans are evaluated and tested frequently and information is updated constantly. Volunteers are thoroughly trained in their roles and responsibilities, and posts are prepared for all emergencies.

Families may contact the Peace Corps/Madagascar Desk with any questions or concerns they may have at 202-692-2324 during business hours, and the Office of Special Services after hours. The Office of Special Services maintains a 24-hour, 7 days a week duty system. The telephone number during standard office hours is 1-800-424-8580, Extension 1470; the after hours number is 202-692-1470. The Office of Special Services can also be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].

Over 811 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in Madagascar since the program was established in 1993. Volunteers on this Indian Ocean island work in the areas of education, environmental and agricultural conservation, health and HIV/AIDS awareness, hygiene promotion, animal and wildlife preservation, and business development.

As the Peace Corps approaches its 50th anniversary, its service legacy continues to promote peace and friendship around the world. Historically, over 195,000 Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries in which they have served. Applications to serve in the Peace Corps have increased 16 percent this past year, the largest boost in the last five years. Currently, 7,876 Peace Corps Volunteers are serving in 76 countries, including Madagascar. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.

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