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Peace Corps Volunteers in Eswatini to Be Evacuated
March 18, 2020

On March 15, 2020, Peace Corps Director Judy Olsen announced the suspension of all volunteer activities globally due to the COVID-19 outbreak and related travel constraints and school closures.  Following on evacuations that have taken place in certain countries, all Peace Corps volunteers worldwide are now being evacuated.  As a result of this announcement, Peace Corps Eswatini will temporarily suspend its program and is working with volunteers, host communities, and host country officials to evacuate Eswatini-based volunteers as soon as possible.

For more than 50 years, the Peace Corps has been a pillar of the partnership between the United States and Eswatini. Therefore, we would like to stress to the public that Peace Corps Eswatini is not closing and all parties will work to resume operations as soon as possible when conditions normalize. As Director Olsen stated in her open letter, ” I also want to assure you and our host country partners that these evacuations represent the temporary suspension of Volunteer activities. We are not closing posts, and we will be ready to return to normal operations when conditions permit. Importantly, our host country staff will remain in their current positions. They play a critical role in every element of the Peace Corps mission, especially in a time of crisis.

 The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, the environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 235,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide. Since 1969, more than 1859 Americans have served alongside communities across the Kingdom of Eswatini.

For more information, please visit peacecorps.gov.