FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, April 28, 2023
READOUT OF MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING SIGNING BETWEEN PEACE CORPS CHIEF OF OPERATIONS AND ADMINISTRATION THOMAS PENG AND ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE KOREA INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGENCY YUN YOUNG LEE
(WASHINGTON, D.C. | Friday, April 28, 2023) – In a historic ceremony yesterday, Peace Corps Chief of Operations and Administration Thomas Peng, and Acting President of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Yun-Young Lee convened for a ceremonial signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Peace Corps and the Korea International Cooperation Agency in Washington, D.C.
In celebration of 70 years of bilateral relations between the United States and the Republic of Korea, the signing opened another meaningful chapter in an already significant story of cooperation and friendship through service. During the ceremony, Peace Corps Chief of Operations and Administration Peng and KOICA Acting President Lee reflected on the history of the Peace Corps in the Republic of Korea and the transformative impact that volunteerism has played in strengthening critical ties between the people of both nations. Five returned Peace Corps Volunteers who served in the Republic of Korea between 1961-1981 attended the ceremony and shared stories of their service spanning the twenty years of Peace Corps’ presence in the country.
Currently, the Peace Corps has over 1,300 volunteers serving in 53 countries at the invitation of host country governments. Over 2,000 Americans served as Peace Corps Volunteers in the Republic of Korea. When the Peace Corps closed its program in 1981, the Republic of Korea soon after established its own overseas volunteering program inspired by the Peace Corps. Today, KOICA has sent nearly 29,000 Volunteers to countries around the world to address local economic and development challenges.
In 2013, the Peace Corps and KOICA signed a MOU that supported continued collaboration on global development and international volunteer programs. The renewed MOU marks the next important chapter of ongoing cooperation between the Peace Corps and KOICA in countries around the world, with a specific focus on the Indo-Pacific Region. Volunteers from both agencies will work side-by-side with local communities to support climate adaptation and in-country volunteering initiatives.
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