The Peace Corps Fiscal Year 2009 Budget Announced

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 4, 2008 - President George W. Bush unveiled his fiscal year (FY) 2009 budget today, in which he asks Congress to provide the Peace Corps with a $343.5 million appropriation. Currently, the Peace Corps FY 2008 operating budget is $330.8 million, the highest appropriation in the history of the agency.

We are pleased with the Presidents continued commitment to the Peace Corps and the accomplishments we have achieved with his strong support, said Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter, In the current budget climate, I am delighted to see this increase for the Peace Corps. We will work very hard this year to reach our full request as the budget process moves forward.

The FY 2009 budget will allow the Peace Corps to open three new country programs, continue its commitment to safety and security, and ensure a quality experience for every Volunteer. Today, there are more than 8,000 Volunteers abroad, a 37-year high for Volunteers. The Peace Corps is operating in 74 countries around the world in the fields of agriculture, health, HIV/AIDS education and awareness, information technology, business development, the environment, and education.

The demand for Peace Corps Volunteers overseas continues to increase, with many countries requesting Peace Corps programs and assistance. The agency remains committed to the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and, with the re-opening of Ethiopia in 2007, now serves in 10 out of 15 PEPFAR focused countries. The Peace Corps also opened a new program in the Kingdom of Cambodia, swearing in its first set of Volunteers in April 2007.

The Peace Corps is celebrating a 46-year legacy of service at home and abroad. Since 1961, more than 190,000 Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries where Volunteers have served. 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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