Statement on Potential Conflict with Iraq

March 18, 2003

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 18, 2003—The Peace Corps understands the concerns families and friends of volunteers may have regarding the effects of the impending conflict with Iraq. We are monitoring the events surrounding the military action, as well as the political and public climate in Peace Corps countries that might be indirectly affected.

Volunteer safety and security is Peace Corps' number one priority. The Peace Corps is prepared to take any necessary actions to ensure the safety and security of our volunteers. We are aware of the possibility of increased security issues during this time, and we are in constant communication with the State Department, Embassies, and Posts regarding any safety and security issues.

In preparation for possible crisis situations, each Peace Corps country has an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) developed in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy and Peace Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The plans have recently been tested, and volunteers are trained in their role and responsibilities in the EAP.

Families are encouraged to contact Peace Corps’ Office of Special Services with any questions or concerns they may have. Special Services maintains a 24 hours a day, 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 202-638-2574.

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